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Big Island Police Identify Man Killed in Keaau Car Crash

Police have identified the man who died from injuries sustained in a two-vehicle crash Sunday night (May 14) on Highway 130, near the Shower Drive and Pōhaku Drive intersection in Keaʻau.
He was identified through fingerprints as 31-year-old Travis Serquina of Keaʻau.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Erhard Autrata at 961-8118. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Hears Arguments in Hawaii v. Trump

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sitting in Seattle heard arguments today in Hawaii v. Trump. The panel consisted of Judge Ronald Gould, Judge Michael Hawkins, and Judge Richard Paez.

Attorney General Chin said: “In today’s argument, we asked the court to uphold Judge Watson’s order issuing a nationwide injunction against the second travel ban. We urged the court that Judge Watson’s well-reasoned decision should be affirmed. As expected, the panel judges asked informed and probing questions of both parties. We look forward to the court’s ruling.”

In his ruling issuing the nationwide injunction, Judge Watson wrote that “a reasonable, objective observer — enlightened by the specific historical context, contemporaneous public statements, and specific sequence of events leading to its issuance — would conclude that the Executive Order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion.”

Here is a brief timeline of events that led to today’s hearing:

  • January 27 – President Trump issued the first executive order. It banned entry for 90 days by citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. The order also indefinitely halted refugees from Syria.
  • February 3 – U.S. District Court Judge James Robart in Washington issued an order blocking the ban nationwide.
  • February 9 – A three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Robart’s injunction. The panel consisted of Judge William Canby, Judge Richard Clifton, and Judge Michelle Friedland.
  • March 6 – President Trump issued the second executive order. It excluded Iraq from the list of Muslim-majority countries whose citizens were temporarily blocked. The ban, which was set to take effect on March 16, barred foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days.
  • March 7 Hawaii filed the first challenge against the second travel ban.
  • March 15 – U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii blocked the second travel ban hours before it was set to begin. The temporary restraining order applied nationwide.
  • March 29 – Judge Watson granted the State’s request for a longer-term halt of the revised travel ban executive order.
  • April 7 – Department of Justice filed an opening brief seeking to overturn the preliminary injunction.

There is no set timeline for when the panel may issue a ruling. The injunction against the travel ban remains in place until the Ninth Circuit rules.

CRACKDOWN – 17 People Arrested for Closed Area Violations at Kalalau

Seventeen people were arrested at the Kalalau Section of the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park, during a pair of law enforcement sweeps earlier this week. Officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) arrested people without valid permits for being in a closed area. They believe among the 17, were three people who’d been illegally residing in Kalalau Valley for long periods of time.

DOCARE Enforcement Chief Robert Farrell said, “We continue to hear about a lot of illegal activity at Kalalau through social media channels. Some of the behavior depicted on blogs and websites is brazen, clearly illegal, disrespectful to the Hawaiian culture, damaging to natural resources, and completely devoid of any appreciation for the wilderness character of the Napali Coast.”

DOCARE Kaua‘i Branch Chief Francis “Bully” Mission added, “The designated camping areas at Kalalau Beach are largely free of illegal camps, but there are still numbers of them up in the valley, where they tend to be remote and often pretty well hidden. It makes it challenging for our officers, but we remain committed to stopping illegal behavior in this wilderness park.”

Enforcement operations to the Napali Coast are expensive, complicated, and time-consuming not only for DOCARE, but also for the DLNR Division of State Parks. It conducts at least monthly air-lifts of accumulated rubbish and human waste. Both Chief Farrell and State Parks Administrator Curt Cottrell noted that as Hawai‘i’s largest and most remote state park, funding has never been provided for having any full-time staff assigned to the Napali Coast.

Cottrell observed, “If there’s any silver lining to what law breakers are posting on social media, is that it’s caused significant public outrage. Our hope is to get new positions and funding authorized specifically dedicated to the Napali Coast to tackle this ongoing issue.”

DOCARE and State Parks are continuing to collaborate on future law enforcement and clean-up operations as resources permit. Officers continue to take a hard line against anyone contacted who can’t produce a permit. “No permit and you will be arrested and then have to appear in court,” Chief Farrell said.

Travel from the Kalalau Trailhead at Ke’e Beach does not require a permit to Hanakapiai Stream; the first two miles of the trail and another two miles, up valley after the stream crossing to Hanakapiai Falls. The nine miles of coastline trail beyond the stream crossing requires an overnight permit, obtainable from State Parks.

Malama the Napali Coast Media Clips from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

Maps of Cesspools on Hawaii Island and Hilo – 90,000 Banned Statewide By 2050

Last week the Environmental Protection Agency required the County of Hawaii to close 7 large cesspools here on the Big Island of Hawai.

Hawaii House Bill 1244 has passed and is headed to Governor Ige to sign into law.

Cesspools on the Island of Hawaii.

The bill as written would ban the currently 90,000 cesspools that are already here in Hawaii (50,000 of those on the Big Island alone) by the year 2050.

Cesspools in Hilo (I did not zoom into each TMK property… I just checked to make sure I was in the clear!)

Hawaii House Bill 1244:

According to the Hawaii Department of Health:

Cesspools are substandard systems.  They don’t treat wastewater, they merely dispose of it. Cesspools concentrate the wastewater in one location, often deep within the ground and in direct contact with groundwater, causing groundwater contamination.  This groundwater flows into drinking water wells, streams and the ocean, harming public health and the environment, including beaches and coral reefs.

 What are cesspools?

  • Cesspools are little more than holes in the ground that discharge raw, untreated human waste.
  • Cesspools can contaminate ground water, drinking water sources, streams and oceans with disease-causing pathogens, algae-causing nutrients, and other harmful substances.
  • Untreated wastewater from cesspools contains pathogens such as bacteria, protozoa and viruses that can cause gastroenteritis, Hepatitis A, conjunctivitis, leptospirosis, salmonellosis and cholera.

 How many cesspools do we have in Hawai`i?

  •  There are approximately 90,000 cesspools in the State, with nearly 50,000 located on the Big Island,  almost 14,000 on Kauai, over  12,000 on Maui, over 11,000 on Oahu and over 1,400 on Molokai.
  •  Hawai`i is the only state in the US that still allows construction of new cesspools.
  •  Approximately 800 new cesspools are approved for construction in Hawai`i each year.

How many cesspools pose a risk to our water resources and how do they impact our environment?

  •  There are 87,000 cesspools that pose a risk to our water resources.
  •  There are approximately 6,700 cesspools that are located within 200 feet of a perennial stream channel  throughout the State.  There  are approximately 31,000 cesspools that are located within the perennial  watersheds on the islands of Hawai`i, Kauai, Maui, and  Molokai.
  •  Cesspools in Hawai`i release approximately 55 million gallons of untreated sewage into the ground each  day.
  •  Cesspools in Hawai`i release as much as 23,700 pounds of nitrogen and nearly 6,000 pounds of  phosphorus into the ground each  day each day, which can stimulate undesirable algae growth, degrade  water quality, and impact coral reefs.

Click here to see if your property needs certification or is near a cesspool: Act 120 Eligibility Cesspool Finder

Hawaii AG Joins in Call for Expansion of Medicaid Fraud Authority

Attorney General Doug Chin yesterday joined the attorneys general of 37 states and the District of Columbia urging the federal government to change its policy so state attorneys general can use federal funds to investigate and prosecute a wider range of Medicaid abuse and neglect cases.

The letter was sent to Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services, by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG).

Click to read letter

Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides free or low-cost medical benefits to millions of Americans. More than 6.4 million people enrolled in the Medicaid program are age 65 or older. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 10 persons age 65 and older who live at home will become a victim of abuse.

Attorney General Chin said, “The Hawaii Medicaid Fraud Control Unit receives thousands of complaints relating to fraud and abuse and neglect every year. We will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute these cases. We hope that the federal government will hear our concerns and support our efforts to protect Hawaii’s most vulnerable residents.”

Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs) investigate and prosecute state Medicaid provider fraud and resident abuse and neglect complaints in board and care facilities. In Hawaii, MFCU operates in the Department of the Attorney General.

According to the bipartisan letter signed by Attorney General Chin:

“[T]he current strict federal limitations on states’ ability to use MFCU assets to investigate abuse and neglect are outdated, arbitrarily restrict our ability to protect Medicaid beneficiaries from abuse and neglect as Congress intended, and should be replaced or eliminated.

We respectfully request you take swift action to eliminate federal regulations that needlessly narrow our use of these valuable assets. Instead, we request to be freed to use federal MFCU funds to detect, investigate and prosecute abuse and neglect committed against Medicaid beneficiaries or in connection with Medicaid-funded services to the fullest extent permitted by federal statute.”

The letter from NAAG offered two specific recommendations:

  • Allow MFCU federals funds to be used to investigate and prosecute abuse and neglect of Medicaid beneficiaries in non-institutional settings (i.e. home health care).
  • Allow use of MFCU federal funds to freely screen or review any and all complaints or reports of whatever type, in whatever setting.

A copy of the letter is attached.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 42-Year-Old Kona Woman

5/11/17 UPDATE: Hawaiʻi Island police have located 42-year-old Holly Brough, who had been reported missing.

She was located in Kohala in good health on Wednesday evening (May 10).  

Big Island Police are searching for a 42-year-old Kailua-Kona woman who was reported missing.

Holly Brough

Holly Brough was last seen on Alii Drive in March 2017. She is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-1, 125 pounds, with blond hair and brown eyes.

Police ask that anyone with information on her whereabouts to contact the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward 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 confiden tial.

Hope Cermelj Issued Citation for Mauna Kea Graffiti

Assistance provided by the Native Hawaiian community allowed officers from the Hawai‘i Branch of the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) to make contact with a suspect in the recent case of graffiti damage found at the Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve (NAR).

As a result of this contact and investigation, Hope Cermelj of Kalapana, Hawai‘i was issued a citation for violating Rule 13-209-4 (3), Prohibited Activities within a Natural Area Reserve. Cermelj will be required to appear in Hilo District Court.

Graffiti was discovered on several rocks in the NAR on April 28th, as well as on structures belonging to the Office of Mauna Kea Management.

DLNR/DOCARE thanks community members who stepped forward to provide information and assistance. This was instrumental in locating and identifying the suspect.

Big Island Police Still Looking for Missing 68-Year-Old Hilo Woman

Hawaiʻi Island police are renewing their request for the public’s help in searching for a 68-year-old Hilo woman who was reported missing and is considered endangered in light of a medical condition.

Glynda Evangelista

Glynda Evangelista was last seen on Monday, April 24, 2017, in Hilo at the 500 block of Kilauea Avenue. She is described as being 5-foot-4, approximately 200 pounds, medium build with short salt-and-pepper hair, hazel colored eyes, wears prescription glasses and has a fair complexion. She was last seen wearing a dark jacket and orange and yellow colored floral dress, carrying a blue backpack and has a medical condition which requires medication.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Detective Sandor Finkey at 961-2384 or via email at 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.

Police Week Festivities on Hawaii Island

Police Week festivities on Hawaiʻi Island will be held next week (May 14-20).

Police Week is a nationally recognized week of activities in support of police work and in recognition of officers who have died or been disabled in the line of duty. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed every May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week it falls in as National Police Week. In Hawaiʻi County, Police Week activities this year are scheduled from Monday, May 15, to Friday, May 19.

Left to Right: 1: Manuel Cadinha, William “Red” Oili, Ronald “Shige” Jitchaku, Kenneth Keliipio, Steve Makuakane-Jarrell

The public is invited to attend formal Police Week ceremonies on Monday, May 15th, 10:00 a.m., at the Hilo police station and Tuesday, May 16th, 10:00 a.m. at the Kona police station. Both ceremonies include pre-ceremony entertainment and a tribute to Hawaiʻi County officers who gave their lives in the line of duty.

Police will pay tribute to Officer Manuel Cadinha, who gave his life in 1918, Officer William “Red” Oili, who gave his life in 1936, Officer Ronald “Shige” Jitchaku, who gave his life in 1990, Officer Kenneth Keliipio, who gave his life in 1997, and Park Ranger Steve Makuakane-Jarrell, who gave his life in 1999.

During Police Week, station tours for all districts will be offered to the public. Station tours at the Hilo Police station will be on Wednesday, May 17th, with tours being held at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Call Officer Van Reyes at 961-2264, to schedule an

Hawaii Police Department Promotes Four Officers

Chief Paul K. Ferreira has announced upcoming promotions of four employees from the rank of police officer to the rank of sergeant/detective.

Detective Matthew Kaʻaihue, an 18-year veteran of the Hawaiʻi Police Department, will be assigned to the Area II Juvenile Aid Section in Kona. He is currently assigned to Community Policing in South Hilo.

Sergeant Peter Fernandez, an 18-year veteran of the Police Department, will be assigned to the Hāmākua District. He is currently assigned to the Area I Vice Section.

Sergeant Jason Grouns, an 18-year veteran of the Police Department, will be assigned to the Kaʻū District. He is currently working in the Administrative Services Section.

Sergeant Duffy Duldulao, a 16-year veteran of the Police Department, will also be assigned to the Kaʻū District. He is now assigned to the Training Section.

The promotions take effect on May 16.

Coast Guard Proposing Permanent 300 Meter Safety Zone for Lava Tour Boats – Public Meeting TONIGHT

The Coast Guard proposes to establish a permanent safety zone for the navigable waters surrounding the entry of lava from Kilauea volcano into the Pacific Ocean on the southeast side of the Island of Hawaii, HI.

The safety zone will encompass all waters extending 300 meters (984 feet) in all directions around all entry points of lava flow into the ocean. The entry points of the lava vary, and the safety zone will vary accordingly. The safety zone is needed to protect persons and vessels from the potential hazards associated with molten lava entering the ocean resulting in explosions of large chunks of hot rock and debris upon impact, collapses of the sea cliff into the ocean, hot lava arching out and falling into the ocean, and the release of toxic gases. Entry of persons or vessels into this safety zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) Honolulu or his designated representative.

The Coast Guard will host a public meeting regarding the Notice of Proposed Rule Making for the Kamokuna lava ocean entry safety zone at the East Hawaii County Building at 5 p.m., TONIGHT, Monday May 8, 2017.

Big Island Dairy Fined for Fecal Pollution

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has issued a Notice of Violation and Order to Big Island Dairy, LLC for the unlawful discharge of wastewater from the dairy’s Concentrated Animal Feedlot Operations (CAFO), located in O’okala on Hawaii Island, to Kaohaoha Gulch.

Big Island Dairy Facebook picture

The DOH has ordered Big Island Dairy, LLC to immediately cease discharging wastewater to state waters, pay a penalty of $25,000 to the state, and take corrective actions to prevent future unlawful discharges from the dairy to state waters. Further, the dairy is required to apply to DOH for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit required under the Federal Clean Water Act, and State of Hawaii water pollution laws. Additional DOH oversight of other past and current dairy issues is continuing.

“Big Island Dairy will immediately cease illegal discharges and pay a penalty fee for violating environmental laws,” said Keith Kawaoka, DOH deputy director of Environmental Health. “Food production and environmental protection are not competing interests, and through this enforcement action and future permitting efforts, DOH will seek mutually beneficial results for the dairy, O’okala community, and greater State of Hawaii.”

On March 28-29, 2017, the DOH conducted an inspection of the dairy and Kaohaoha Gulch based on information provided by community leaders. During the inspection, DOH found clear evidence of an unlawful discharge of wastewater from the dairy’s field irrigation practices. The discharge was composed of animal wastewater, biosolids and dirt.

Requirement for an NPDES Permit Authorizing the Discharge to State waters

Under the federal Clean Water Act and state water pollution laws, a dairy with 700 or more mature milking cows which operates as a CAFO and discharges is required to obtain and comply with an NPDES permit. NPDES permits regulate the discharges from the dairy to state and federal waters by requiring implementation of pollution reducing practices and compliance reporting. Big Island Dairy has 30 days to submit an application for NPDES permit coverage to DOH.

Requirement for the Development and Implementation of a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan

Big Island Dairy is ordered to develop or revise a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) that defines how the dairy treats, uses, and distributes its wastewater for crop production purposes. The CNMP must follow Federal guidelines and be approved of by the DOH before implementation. The CNMP will be an enforceable provision of the NPDES permit.

Surveys of State waters within Dairy Property

Big Island Dairy is required to conduct surveys and inspections of state waters located within the dairy property to identify all points of discharge from the dairy. The dairy must develop corrective action plans if the dairy finds any evidence of waste or wastewater within state waters due to dairy operations. DOH will review the final reports and conduct due diligence to authenticate conclusions made in the dairy’s report.

Big Island Dairy, LLC may contest the Notice of Violation and Order and has 20 days to request a hearing.

The Hawaii Department of Health’s Clean Water Branch protects the health of residents and visitors who enjoy Hawaii’s coastal and inland water resources. The Branch also protects and restores inland and coastal waters for marine life and wildlife. This is accomplished through statewide coastal water surveillance and watershed-based environmental management using a combination of permit issuance, water quality monitoring and investigation, water quality violation enforcement, polluted runoff control, and public education.

Hawaii House of Representatives Adjourns 2017 Legislative Session

The House of Representatives today adjourned the 2017 regular legislative session sine die.

The Legislature passed a total of 233 bills this session including measures to support for affordable housing and homelessness, reduce taxes low-income families, provide college tuition for qualifying students, support kupuna care, and fund new schools and heat abatement in classrooms.

The House today deferred action on SB1183 HD2 HD2 HCD2 to fund the City & County of Honolulu’s financially troubled rail project until the next session.

This session the House passed a State Budget that appropriates $14.1 billion in total operating funds for fiscal year 2018 and $14.3 billion for fiscal year 2019. The budget includes $2.9 billion for critical capital improvement projects in every county across the state.

More than $30 million is designated in the budget for grants-in-aid for nonprofit organizations who reach out to the community with invaluable services.

To support our low-income families the House passed HB 209 which establishes a state earned income tax credit. This will help low-income workers to keep more of what they earn.

The House passed legislation to keep Hawaii property owners protected under FEMA’s National Flood Insurance. The bill saves more than 60,000 flood insurance policies totaling over $13.4 billion throughout the state at risk of being cancelled without this bill.

Another bill established the Kupuna Caregivers Program to assist community members in obtaining care for elders while remaining in the workforce. Hawaii is the only state to offer this program.

The House funded the Hawaii Promise Program which will help qualified students with financial needs pay for in-state college tuition.

Two new schools, East Kapolei Middle School and Kihei High School on Maui, were also funded along with a new classroom building for over-crowded Campbell High School.

In response to the increasingly unmet need for rental housing, the House passed HB 1179 to provide incentives to rental housing developers by expanding the types of projects that can be exempt from general excise taxes, with the permission of the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation.

Lawmakers also voted to support the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation’s Downpayment Loan Program to relieve the increasing burden of housing prices on first-time home buyers, and added $25 million to the Rental Housing Revolving Fund and $25 million to the Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund to promote affordable rental housing.

On the environment, the House voted to expand strategies and mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions statewide in alignment with the principles and goals adopted in the Paris Agreement.

To fight the continuing threat of invasive species, bills were passed to monitor the Rose-ringed Parakeet on Kauai, to eliminate the Little Fire Ant, and continued funding for the battle against Rapid Ohia Death.

In agriculture, lawmakers acted quickly to prevent the Rat Lungworm Disease from spreading.  They passed HB 1475 to broaden commercial operations permitted on agricultural land and allow farmers’ markets and food hubs on ag land. This bill also allows on-farm sales of produce and value-added products, a critical source of additional income for small farms.

The House voted to maintain the hemp pilot program and allow applicants to apply for permits all year long. The counties will be required to recognize industrial hemp as an agricultural product, use or activity. Certain facility and transportation requirements will be eased up to make this industry more feasible and to become a thriving industry.

For homeless people the House funded outreach and health care services and earmarked $3 million for the Housing First program. Housing First is an approach to homelessness that provides rapid housing placement, followed by support services and has proven successful in helping people to improve their lives.

The House also voted to select Representative Scott Saiki as the new House Speaker following the resignation of Speaker Joe Souki.

“Rep. Souki has been a mentor and friend for many of us in the House. He taught us what it means to serve the people of Hawaii with honor, passion and pride,” said Speaker Saiki. “He has left his mark on the State and in these Halls that will never be erased.  I want to thank him for his service, for his words of wisdom and his guidance.”

Click on this link for all bills passed during the 2017 session.

Coast Guard Holding Public Meeting Regarding Changes to Kamokuna Lava Ocean Entry Safety Zone

The Coast Guard will host a public meeting regarding the Notice of Proposed Rule Making for the Kamokuna lava ocean entry safety zone at the East Hawaii County Building at 5 p.m., Monday.

Kamokuna Ocean Entrance

A Notice of Proposed Rule Making is public notice a federal agency intends to create, add, remove or change a rule or regulation. The Coast Guard encourages citizens to participate in the rulemaking process by reviewing the rulemaking docket and providing public comment via the Federal Register. Public comments ensure Coast Guard rules and regulations are in the best interest of all parties. The Coast Guard is holding this public meeting as part of the NPRM process to encourage public input regarding the possible permanence and scope of the safety zone in place at Kamokuna.

To view the NPRM in the Federal Register, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0234 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.”  Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule. The Coast Guard strongly prefers comments to be submitted electronically.  Electronic comments may be submitted via http://www.regulations.gov.  Click the “COMMENT NOW” box on the top right of Docket Folder. Written comments may also be submitted (e.g. postmarked) by the deadline, via mail to Commander (spw), U.S. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, 433 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96850.

The comment period ends at 11:59 p.m. June 2, 2017.

  • WHO: Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Captain of the Port
  • WHAT: Hosts public meeting as part of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making to collect public input on the Notice of Proposed Rule Making process regarding the safety zone
  • WHERE: East Hawaii County Building (Hilo) Aupuni Center Conference Room located at 101 Pauahi Street #7, Hilo, HI, 96720
  • WHEN: 5 p.m., May 8, 2017. Media are asked to arrive no later than 4:30 p.m.

Media interested in attending are asked to RSVP no later than Monday at 12 p.m. by contacting the Coast Guard 14th District public affairs office at 808-341-9849.

Hawaii Firearm Permits and Registrations Increase in 2016

The Department of the Attorney General released its annual report today detailing statewide and county firearm registration statistics for calendar year 2016.

Click to view report

A total of 21,408 personal firearm permit applications were processed statewide during 2016, marking an 8.4% increase from the tally in 2015. Of the applications processed in 2016, 95.7% (20,488) were approved and resulted in issued permits; 2.8% (592) were approved but subsequently voided after the applicants failed to return for their permits within the specified time period; and 1.5% (328) were denied due to one or more disqualifying factors.

The 20,488 permits issued statewide in 2016 cover a total of 53,400 firearms registered during the year, resulting in a 14.1% increase from the tally of firearms registered throughout 2015. About half (26,616, or 49.8%) of the firearms registered during 2016 were imported from out-of-state, with the remainder accounted for by transfers of firearms that were previously registered in Hawaii.

Firearm registration activity increased dramatically over the course of the 17 years for which these data have been systematically compiled and reported. Statewide from 2000 through 2016, the annual number of statewide permit applications processed climbed 341.1%, the annual number of firearms registered soared 392.2%, and the annual number of firearms imported surged 368.2%. For 2016, Kauai County reported record high tallies for all three categories.

It is a misdemeanor in the State of Hawaii to provide falsified information on firearm permit applications, unless the falsified information pertains to criminal or mental health histories, in which case it is a felony offense. In 2016, falsified criminal or mental health information or both were provided in 60.1% (197) of the 328 denial cases; falsified information pertaining to anything other than criminal or mental health histories was provided in 1.5% (5) of the cases; and no falsified information was provided in 38.4% (126) of the cases.

Persons with documented mental health histories; those who within one year of their applications were medical marijuana patients; and those with documented alcohol and/or substance abuse treatment histories were, respectively, the top three types of applicants whose permit applications were denied in 2016.

Firearm Registrations in Hawaii, 2016 provides a range of additional statistics and analyses focused on firearm permits/licenses, registrations, and denials in the State of Hawaii and its four counties. The full report can be downloaded from the Department of the Attorney General’s Research and Statistics Branch web site at http://ag.hawaii.gov/cpja/rs.

EPA Requiring County of Hawaii to Close 7 Large Capacity Cesspools

In accordance with Section 1423(c)(3)(B) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (“Act”), 42 U.S.C. § 300h-2(c)(3)(B), notice is hereby given of a proposed agreement, set forth in a Proposed Administrative Order on Consent (“Proposed Consent Order”), between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 (“EPA”) and the County of Hawai‘i. The Proposed Consent Order requires the County of Hawai’i to correct certain alleged ongoing violations of the Act, as further described below. This notice invites the public to submit comments on the Proposed Consent Order.

Click to read docket

The Proposed Consent Order requires Respondent to close seven (7) large capacity cesspools (“LCCs”) that are currently being operated in violation of the ban codified at 40 C.F.R. § 144.88 on existing LCCs that took effect on April 5, 2005. Section V of the Proposed Consent Order provides an enforceable schedule for the County of Hawai’i to come into compliance with the ban, including closure of the LCCs and proper treatment for the wastewater streams currently being sent to the LCCs.

Complainant

Kathleen H. Johnson, Director, Enforcement Division, U.S. EPA, Region 9, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

Respondent

Mayor Harry Kim, County of Hawai‘i, East Hawai‘i Building, 25 Aupuni Street Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720

Facilities

Pahala and Na’alehu communities of Hawai‘i

Alleged Violations

EPA alleges that, since April 5, 2005, Respondent owned and/or operated two (2) LCCs in violation of the LCC ban located in the community of Pahala. EPA further alleges that, since at least April 30, 2010, Respondent owned and/or operated five (5) additional LCCs in violation of the LCC ban located in the communities of Pahala and Naalehu. The continued operation of these LCCs is an ongoing violation of 40 C.F.R. § 144.88 and the SDWA. The seven (7) LCCs at issue are more specifically defined as follows:

  • 2 large capacity cesspools serving approximately 109 private residences in the community of Pahala, Hawai‘i;
  • 3 large capacity cesspools serving approximately 163 private residences in the community of Na’alehu, Hawai‘i; and
  • 2 large capacity cesspools serving the Pahala Elderly Apartments.

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Big Island Police Searching for Missing 14-Year-Old Girl

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 14-year-old Hilo girl who was reported missing.

Kahli Akau was last seen in the Waiākea Villas area on March 17, 2017.

She is described as Hawaiian, 5-foot-4, 115 pounds with long brown hair, brown eyes, and a fair complexion.

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 island wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Big Island Police Seek Information About 1987 Murder

Big Island police are renewing their request for information regarding an unsolved murder investigation from 1987.

Today marks 30 years since the murder of 26-year-old Lynn Ebisuzaki. On May 1, 1987, at approximately 10:00 p.m., Hilo patrol officers responded to a home in the 500 block of Kanoelehua Avenue to look for a missing female. They learned that 26-year-old Lynn Ebisuzaki was last seen exiting the residence at 9:15 p.m. and failed to return. Officers conducted a search of the property and adjoining properties and eventually located the lifeless body of the young female.

An autopsy determined that Ebisuzaki died as a result of a stab wound. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Police ask anyone with inform ation of the murder to contact Detective Derek Morimoto of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2380 or Derek.Morimoto@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 $1,000.00. 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.

43-Year-Old Kona Man Dies in Two-Vehicle Crash

A 43-year-old Kailua-Kona man was involved in a two-vehicle traffic casualty on Friday evening (April 28) at the intersection of Hinalani Street and Kamanu Street, Kailua-Kona Hawaii.

He has been identified as Elvis Sheppard.

Responding to a 7:36 p.m. call, police determined that a 2016 Honda motorcycle operated by Elvis Sheppard had been traveling east on Hinalani Street when it was involved in a broadside collision with a 2006 Kia four-door sedan operated by 61-year-old Kailua-Kona man who failed to yield the right of way to the motorcycle as he executed a left turn (west direction) from Kamanu Street onto Hinalani Street.

Following the collision, the operator of the Kia sedan was un-injured, but Sheppard was taken to the Kona Community Hospital for treatment of his injuries. Sheppard remained at the Kona Community Hospital thru the evening where he was noted to be in critical condition. Sheppard succumbed to his injuries on Saturday (April 29) where he was pronounced dead at 10:24 a.m.

Police believe that speed and inattention were factors in the crash, and an autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a Negligent Homicide investigation and is asking anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Officer Justin Hooser at 326-4646, ext. 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo.

This is the 9th traffic fatality this year compared to ten at this time last year.

Hilo Man Dies in Single Vehicle Crash on Highway 11

A 48-year-old Hilo man died following a single vehicle crash Friday night (April 28) on Highway 11 just south of the 99 mile marker.

He was identified as Robbie Weeks.

Responding to a 7:47 p.m. call Friday, police determined that a 1992 Mazda two door convertible sedan operated by Weeks had been traveling north on Highway 11 between the 98 and 99 mile markers when he failed to negotiate a right curve, crossed left of center on the roadway and ran off of the west side of the road overturning down an embankment.

Weeks was taken to the Hilo Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:54 a.m. Saturday (April 29).

Police believe speed and inattention were factors in the crash.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Officer Christopher Kapua-Allison at 326-4646, ext. 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo.

This is the 8th traffic fatality this year compared to ten at this time last year.