HVO Update – Lava Flow Slowly Creeping Towards Subdivisions

Kahaualeʻa 2 flow moving slowly through remote forest, spattering at Puʻu ʻŌʻō

The Kahaualeʻa 2 lava flow remains active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and is still moving slowly through thick forest. The active flows retreated a short amount over the past week due to a deflation-inflation cycle at the summit, with the farthest active flows today at about 7.5 km (4.7 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. These farthest active flows are evident by the smoke in the left hand portion of the photograph. The stalled flow front, in the foreground, is at 8.3 km (5.2 miles) from the vent.
Another view of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow front, with a normal photograph at the left and a corresponding thermal image on the right. The thermal image shows the distribution of active pāhoehoe lobes clearly, with active flows shown by the white colors. This image shows how the active flows have retreated a short distance back from the stalled flow front over the past week.

In Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, a small lava pond (about 5 meters, or yards, wide) continued to be active and was still “gas pistoning” today. Gas pistoning is a cyclic rise and fall of the lava pond surface due to gas buildup and release. During the fall phase, intense spattering disrupts the lava pond surface and releases the accumulated gas. Each cycle lasted about five to ten minutes.

Continued lava lake activity in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater

A closer view of the lava lake in the Overlook crater, within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at Kīlauea’s summit. The lake is now about 160 m by 200 m (520 x 700 feet) in size. The lava rises to the surface in the northern part of the lake (right side in this photograph) and flows towards the south (left). Cracks around the Overlook crater rim (right side of photo) suggest that future collapses of the rim will occur at some point.

Full Video – Big Island Farmer Exposed as Sexual Predator

In a breaking international news video, a Big Island farmer is found living in hiding in Florida, after his victims in Hawaii came forward to sue him for child sexual abuse.

VICE News today presents Love Serve Surrender. In the documentary, VICE News investigates alleged pedophile Jay Ram, who for decades has managed to foster, adopt, and care for dozens of boys referred by charities and child welfare agencies, despite repeated warning signs that he was a sexual predator.

VICE News today presents Love Serve Surrender. In the documentary, VICE News investigates alleged pedophile Jay Ram, who for decades has managed to foster, adopt, and care for dozens of boys referred by charities and child welfare agencies, despite repeated warning signs that he was a sexual predator.

A VICE News exclusive investigation: Hippie guru Jay Ram was hailed as a public hero for fostering, adopting, and caring for dozens of boys that had nowhere else to go. But years later, a new picture has emerged. Several of his sons have come forward to say that he preyed on them sexually and forced them to recruit other boys to molest. VICE News has uncovered new evidence that shows that charities and child welfare agencies missed several clear warning signs, and continued to place new children in Ram’s care. Until now, he has never faced justice.

…I remember the first time going up there,” says Carlos, now burly and bearded with a large tribal tattoo on his bald scalp. “It was on a big, dry ranch. It was really hot, and I saw all these boys, different nationalities. I said, ‘Wow! Where’s the mom?’ I wasn’t really thinking about it because I saw all these boys having fun…. They could cuss. It’s like they could do whatever they wanted there. And you know, it was cool.”

Just two weeks later, Ram abruptly moved to the Big Island of Hawaii with some of the boys. Shortly thereafter, he was approved to adopt them, and the boys became brothers. As a family, they lived together on a sprawling but secluded property nestled amongst cane fields, dramatic cliffs overlooking the deep blue Pacific, and rolling hills covered with thick rainforest. It looked like paradise. It was anything but.

Alleged victims told us Ram set up a ranking system for the boys, pitting them against one another in a competition for clothes, food, and his affection.

“You were either a ‘Snoot’ or a ‘Louse,’” explains Jared Legro, who met Ram’s boys at a local surf spot and began spending time at their home. He says that Snoots got special treatment, like desserts or trips to the mall or new surfboards. They were also “rewarded” with a chance to sleep with Ram…

More here: An Alleged Pedophiles Perfect Scam

The video, produced by VICE NEWS out of New York, tells the story of former Hakalau farmer Jay Ram, who adopted dozens of boys in California and Hawaii. He then used the boys for sex and slave labor. Ram has been featured in numerous print stories in Hilo. http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/local-news/former-hakalau-sex-abuse-suspect-located-florida

The video also shows how social services had complaints against Ram dating back almost a decade, but failed to protect the boys in Ram’s care.

The boys were able to sue Ram for abuse because of a landmark Hawaii “window” law that allows victims of child sex abuse to use the civil courts for justice, no matter when the abuse occurred. The law expires on April 24.

Jay Ram LetterMembers of SNAP worked with the victims to help expose Ram and encourage other victims and witnesses to come forward.

Lava Flow Update – Kahauale’a 2 Flow Continues Moving Through Forest

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow remains active, with scattered pāhoehoe breakouts driving slow advancement of the flow field through the forest.

Breakouts at the flow margins trigger forest fires, and numerous plumes of smoke. Today, the flow front was 8.2 km (5.1 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
A comparison of a thermal image (left) with a normal photograph (right) of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow front. Brighter colors in the thermal image depict hotter surface temperatures, with white and yellow areas showing active pāhoehoe breakouts. These breakouts are distributed in a scattered fashion across this portion of the flow field. The vent for the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, visible in the upper left of the photograph.

A view of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater from the north, looking southeast. In the foreground, the crater rim has red hues due to oxidized cinder and spatter from the early days of Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the 1980s. In the center of the photograph, the black crater floor consists of lava flows erupted in the last several years, with several spatter cones built upon these flows. Near the left edge of the photograph, a small perched lava pond has been active in recent months. A closer view of the lava pond in the northeast portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. The lava pond has partially closed over the past several weeks, and today was about 5 meters (yards) in diameter – about half of the diameter from two weeks ago. The pond was spattering, with small bits of airborne spatter visible in this photograph.

Island Air Signs Purchase Agreement for up to Six Planes – Looking to Expand

Bombardier Aerospace announced today that Hawaii Island Air, Inc. (Island Air) has placed a firm order for two Q400 NextGen turboprop airliners and has also taken options for four additional Q400 NextGen aircraft. The aircraft will be delivered with a dual-class, 71-seat configuration. Island Air is Hawaii’s leading regional airline and second oldest carrier.

Q400 NextGen turboprop

Inside a Q400 NextGen turboprop

Based on the list price of the Q400 NextGen airliner, the firm order is valued at approximately $60.9 million US. The value could increase to $188 million US should Island Air exercise all its options.

“As part of our ongoing restructuring and expansion strategy, the Island Air team considered a number of aircraft and we are pleased to announce the selection of the Q400 NextGen turboprop. With its superior speed, performance and fuel efficiency; outstanding operational flexibility; and market-leading passenger comfort, the Q400 NextGen aircraft is the optimal solution for our needs,” said Paul Casey, President and Chief Executive Officer, Island Air.

“We are pleased to partner with Bombardier as Island Air moves to redefine regional travel within the Hawaiian Islands and offer our passengers the premium product they expect. The Q400 NextGen aircraft is clearly the most suitable airliner for Island Air and will provide a superior passenger experience coupled with unbeatable performance. My experience with Bombardier over the years has been nothing but positive which has further led to our selection of the Q400 NextGen aircraft for the next chapter of Island Air,” said Island Air’s owner, Larry Ellison.

“We are proud to welcome Island Air back to the Bombardier family and we are excited to see the Q400 NextGen airliner take to Hawaiian skies,” said Ryan DeBrusk, Regional Vice President, Sales, Americas, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “The Q400 NextGen aircraft with its superior passenger comfort and market-leading performance characteristics will serve Island Air well as it embarks on its re-fleeting strategy.”

“The Q400 NextGen aircraft is designed to respond to the needs of an evolving market and our growing customer base shows that the aircraft is creating excellent value for operators and meeting a wide variety of business requirements. This operational flexibility maximizes the profit potential of the aircraft and positions it well ahead of competitive aircraft,” said Ray Jones, Senior Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Asset Management, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “I’m delighted that Island Air has chosen to re-join the Bombardier family and I wish the airline much success in its future ventures.” Island Air currently offers flights to and from the islands of Oahu, Maui, Lanai and Kauai.

Visits to Correctional Centers Cancelled… Again!

For the second weekend in a row… visits at Correctional Centers have been cancelled.

Hawaii State LogoIt is rumored that the correctional centers are understaffed and that guards are intentionally calling in sick to bring attention to the matter.

  • Visitation at Oahu Community Correctional Center has been cancelled for the day.  To check the OCCC hotline you can call 832-1623. The Department of Public Safety has started putting out visitation cancellation notices through social media in an effort to get the word out faster to people who are planning to come to the facility to visit a loved one. Watch for these posts between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on the scheduled visitation day.  To find out more about visitation schedules for each facility go to our website at dps.hawaii.gov.
  • Visitation at Hawaii Community Correctional Center has been cancelled for the day. The Department of Public Safety has started putting out visitation cancellation notices through social media in an effort to get the word out faster to people who are planning to come to the facility to visit a loved one. Watch for these posts between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on the scheduled visitation day. To find out more about visitation schedules for each facility go to our website at dps.hawaii.gov.

Rules for Protests at Hawaii State Capitol Challenged as Unconstitutional in Federal Court

A federal lawsuit against the State Department of Accounting and General Services (“DAGS”) charges that outdated rules restricting public use of State property (including the Hawaii State Capitol rotunda and grounds) violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Plaintiffs for the lawsuit are the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii (“ACLU”) and Pamela G. Lichty, President of the Drug Policy Action Group and ACLU board member. They are represented by Daniel M.Gluck, Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU and Alexandra Rosenblatt of Chun Kerr, LLLC.

capital

Public access to grounds and rotunda, noted in the run-up to 2011 APEC meeting, now an issue for upcoming ASEAN meeting, April 1-2.

The lawsuit asks the court to require DAGS to remove burdensome requirements for obtaining a permit – including requirements that small groups have to get the government’s permission before holding a protest; that individuals have to agree to indemnify the State for any injuries arising from their protest (even if the injuries are caused by the protesters’ opponents); and that individuals or groups apply for a permit  weeks in advance (with no exception for spontaneous demonstrations in response to sudden events or news).

The ACLU informed DAGS of these problems over three and a half years ago (more than a year before the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting). The ACLU continued to inform the State of these problems through 2011, 2012, and 2013, but the State has neither changed its rules nor issued any new policies to correct these problems.

The ACLU has assisted several groups in navigating the unlawful permit process, but does not know how many other individuals or groups have been deterred from holding a demonstration because of DAGS’ unconstitutional rules. Honolulu now plans to host Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and defense ministers of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations April 1-2, and the ACLU hopes that this lawsuit will ensure that any individuals or groups that want to demonstrate on State property during the ASEAN Conference (or any other matter) are able to do so.

Daniel M. Gluck said: “After three years of being rebuffed by DAGS and the Attorney General?s office to resolve these issues administratively, it’s clear that the State won’t take any action without being sued.  We need to ensure that the free speech rights of all people are respected and protected, particularly on state grounds such as the Capitol, to show that our government is open, transparent, and participatory.”

Alexandra Rosenblatt said: “Current permitting practices could prevent people from gathering around a legislative measure or breaking community crisis. The State requires a fourteen day lead time for permits, yet legislative hearings only have a 2-3 day lead time. The State also requires that permit holders waive all claims against the state as a condition of exercising their first amendment rights. DAGS has made exceptions, but the absence of consistent, objective standards raises a concern that groups could be treated differently based on the content of their speech. When it comes to our government and state capitol there is no room for opaque rules that hinder community voices from being heard.”

The ACLU’s First Amendment Toolkit is a free guide for those considering demonstrations at the Hawaii State Capitol, or at parks, beaches, sidewalks and more statewide.

Coast Guard Releases Information of Tuna Boat Sinking – Master and Chief Engineer Presumed Dead

The Coast Guard released the results of its investigation into the June 2010 sinking of the U.S. flagged Distant Water Tuna Fleet vessel Majestic Blue 2,100 miles southwest of Hawaii, Friday.

F/V Majestic Blue

F/V Majestic Blue

The investigation revealed twenty-two crewmembers safely abandoned ship and were rescued by a sister ship but the master and chief engineer remain missing and presumed deceased.

The investigation was unable to determine the exact cause of flooding that originated in the steering compartment where steel work was previously performed during an overseas shipyard visit.

However, the investigation determined that the immediate secondary cause of the sinking was due to a shipboard practice of leaving watertight doors open. This caused continued progressive flooding through the open doors throughout the vessel.

In addition, response to the flooding was hampered because the engineering officers could not read or communicate in English and were unfamiliar with emergency response procedures. Under special legislation afforded to the Distant Water Tuna Fleet only the vessel’s captain needed to be a U.S. citizen.

The Coast Guard investigating officer recommended and the Coast Guard commandant concurred that a large fishing vessel of this size should receive additional oversight.

“A benefit of sharing a report of investigation is an opportunity for all fishermen and mariners to learn something from this casualty,” said Cmdr. Jonathan Maiorine, chief of inspections and investigations for the Fourteenth Coast Guard District. “By reevaluating their own onboard procedures for training, communications and emergency drills we hope to prevent similar tragedies in the future.”

Click to view report

Click to view report

The entire report of investigation is available for download on the Coast Guard Homeport website under the investigations tab.

For more information regarding the report of investigation, contact Cmdr. Jonathan Maiorine at (808) 535-3421.

Honolulu Police Department Responds to Allegations About Officers Engaging in Sex with Prostitutes

Recent news reports claimed that the Honolulu Police Department urged lawmakers to keep an exemption in state law that allows undercover officers to engage in sex with prostitutes. This statement is misleading and inaccurate.

Prostitutes

First and foremost, the HPD asked the legislature to keep the existing language in the exception. The HPD did not ask for permission to engage in sexual conduct with prostitutes.

Under Hawaii law (HRS Section 712-1200), merely agreeing to pay a fee for sexual conduct constitutes a violation of the statute thus, the exemption for police officers is necessary so they can conduct prostitution investigations. If there was no exemption, officers would not be able to respond to a verbal offer from a suspected prostitute. This does not mean that officers are allowed to engage in sexual penetration.

The HPD has never asked the legislature to allow officers to engage in sex with prostitutes. When HB 1926 was originally drafted, it contained language that allowed the law enforcement exemption UNLESS “the act” involved sexual penetration or deviate sexual intercourse. It was poorly worded so the department asked the committee to omit that sentence, or our officers would not have been able to respond to even a verbal offer of sexual intercourse from a suspected prostitute – one of the most common prostitution violations. The request was NOT made to allow officers to engage in sexual penetration. If we were to codify these rules, we would be publicly revealing specific undercover officer guidelines and Hawaii’s prostitutes, “pimps,” and johns would be able to use the information to avoid prosecution and continue their illegal activity.

The department is keenly aware that prostitutes are often victims of human trafficking or other offenses. Because of this, we work closely with the Hawaii Coalition Against Human Trafficking and other community groups. Our goal is to conduct fair, accurate investigations, taking into consideration the need for prosecution as well as the need to protect the innocent. To accomplish this, we maintain careful oversight of all prostitution cases. There are strict written guidelines to regulate the conduct of officers conducting prostitution investigations.

Counterfeit Bills Being Circulated in Puna – Bogus

Last night I went into the 7-11 store to take out cash from the cash machine and all of a sudden I hear the clerk saying really loud… “That’s a counterfeit bill… I can’t take that!”

Would you be able to tell this is a fake bill?

Would you be able to tell this is a fake bill?

I got up to the cash register and asked the clerk what just happened and she said someone tried to pass off another counterfeit $5.00 bill onto the store.  I said “another” and she turned to the other clerk on duty and he said it was like the second one that has been tried to be passed onto the store in the last week.  They also mentioned that even $1.00 bills were being counterfeited.

I asked the clerk if they called the police and she said no… the company doesn’t call the police as there is just too much paperwork to be filled out every time someone tries to pass one off.

I thought about this and then went to Paul’s Gas Station at the end of Pahoa Town and while I was paying for my gas there… I noticed they had a $5.00 bill taped to the wall.  I asked the lady at Paul’s Gas Station if they had also had any counterfeit bills being passed onto them… and she said yes.  Recently they have had quite a few people trying to pass on bogus bills and one even got through.

The clerk uses a pen to mark the bill to see if it is a fake bill.

The clerk uses a pen to mark the bill to see if it is a fake bill.

So if stores like 7-11 and Paul’s Gas Station are being targeted… I can only imagine what might be going on elsewhere.  I can only imagine a place like the Maku’u Farmers Market being a prime place for these folks to pass on these bogus bills to unsuspecting folks… and then perfectly innocent folks get caught up in trying to purchase something with them legally.

You can purchase pens that detect counterfeit bills online.

You can purchase pens that detect counterfeit bills online.

Be vigilant and realize that folks are passing $5.00 bills and $1.00 bills that are bogus around Pahoa right now and if you are a merchant… you may want to invest in a pen that can detect bogus bills.

 

FBI Combing My Area Looking for Terrorist Daniel Andreas San Diego

The FBI has been combing my area of the Big Island (Puna District) looking for terrorist Daniel Andreas San Diego.

San Diego 2

If anyone in the Puna District is harboring him… I suggest you turn him in.  See the Wikipedia entry below for more information about him.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

From Wikipedia:

Daniel Andreas San Diego (born February 9, 1978) is the first Revolutionary American environmentalist added to the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list. He is a straight edge vegan and animal liberationist who has an alleged association with the Animal Liberation Brigade cell responsible for two bombings in 2003. He is believed to have ties to Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty.

Background

San Diego was born in 1978 in Berkeley, California and grew up in San Rafael, California. He attended Terra Linda High School. He took classes at College of Marin and worked at San Rafael High School’s radio station, KSRH, listening to heavy metal and rock music. As a young man he gave up drugs, alcohol, meat, and milk products, taking an interest in the straight edge movement and becoming vegan.

At the time of the bombings he lived in Schellville, California, a small community outside of Sonoma, where he worked as a computer specialist. His landlord described him as “very nice and personable,” mentioned his claim to be starting a new business venture of vegan marshmallows made without gelatin, and said that he had never given the impression of holding radical views on animal rights. The FBI claims this was all an act.

San Diego is described as having ties to Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) as a well-known San Francisco Bay Area animal rights activist. SHAC is an international campaign set up to close down Europe’s largest animal testing laboratory, Huntingdon Life Sciences, a company that performs drug and chemical research experiments on animals.[7] Before the related bombings SHAC targeted HLS customer Chiron and its employees with a series of actions, accusing them of being “puppy killers.”

Animal Liberation Brigade

On August 28, 2003, two sophisticated homemade bombs exploded approximately one hour apart, at the Chiron Corporation in Emeryville, California, causing minor property damage but no injuries.The FBI believes the second bomb was timed to target first responders.  Another bomb, wrapped with nails to produce shrapnel, exploded on September 26, 2003 at the Shaklee Corporation in Pleasanton, California, again causing damage but no casualties.  The bombs used ammonium nitrate explosives and mechanical timers.

A group called the Revolutionary Cells – Animal Liberation Brigade claimed responsibility via an email message after each bombing. FBI agents admit that they cannot prove San Diego has ties to the emails, but believe he has ties to the group that sent them. The bombing targets were chosen because they were both clients of Huntingdon Life Sciences.

Disappearance

The agency had San Diego under 24 hour surveillance in 2003.However, he discovered that he was being watched. On October 6, 2003 he parked his car in downtown San Francisco, California, walked away, and never returned.

Most Wanted

San Diego was profiled on America’s Most Wanted six times after his disappearance. In April, 2009, he became the first domestic terrorism suspect to be added to the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists List.This sparked a global search for him in Germany, Britain, Costa Rica, France, Spain, Denmark, Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Argentina, the Philippines, and Chile. The FBI believes he could be in the Northampton, Massachusetts area.

Because of his many years on the run, authorities believe that San Diego may be excessively secretive and vague about details of his life. He may also use prepaid cellphone cards and other means in order to further hide his identity. A reward of $250,000 has been offered by officials for information leading to his arrest, five times that of other animal rights activists.

Former Hawaii Superferry to Serve US Navy in Western Pacific

The Hawaii Superferry when it was harbored in Honolulu

The Hawaii Superferry when it was harbored in Honolulu

According to Defense News one of the former Hawaii superferries will be put into service in the Western Pacific:

Q. What is the rationale for counting Joint High-Speed Vessels (JHSVs)?

A. JHSVs would be a support ship. An important connector. In peacetime, they’re going to be operating forward supporting Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and riverine forces; theater cooperation forces such as the Seabees, point-to-point transportation of Marine Corps and Army forces. And in wartime they will be doing inter-theater transport.

I think of them as the LST [landing ship tank] of the total force battle network. Very shallow draft, can go into these austere ports and offload capability in support of the battle force. They will be very, very useful.

The [two recently-acquired] Hawaii Superferries [known as high-speed vessels, or HSVs] will not count. They do not have the capabilities of the JHSV, all they have are airline seats and you can put stuff on them. The JHSVs are specifically designed to support a company combat team. There are 104 racks, 312 airline bunks. They’re designed to transport an intact company combat team.

We will debate whether the HSVs should count as part of the high-speed vessel force that will be operating. But the JHSV and the HSV are not interchangeable.

So the universe of things we’re debating right now is how you count the PCs, the mine warfare vessels, the hospital ships and the Hawaii Superferries. The rest of the force will probably stay.

[NOTE: One of those Hawaii Superferries is being put into service in the Western Pacific to support Japan-based Marines, replacing a ship named WestPac Express. The Navy now has decided that the replacement ferry will count toward the battle force.]

You can read the full article here:  New US Navy Counting Rules Add Up To More Ships

 

Mayor Kenoi on the GMO Issue

Big Island Mayor Kenoi is quoted as saying the following about the Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) lawsuits that are currently floating around the state in Hawaii Business Magazine:

Mayor Kenoi at the APEC Conference

Mayor Kenoi at the APEC Conference

“GMO has been very important and beneficial to our cut-flower, orchid, anthurium and nursery industry. The science research has been cutting-edge and we’ve seen a lot of innovation and creativity, and certainly in our papaya industry, the importance of research is well-known for maintaining, growing and protecting its viability.

I still don’t believe GMO is the issue facing agriculture – it’s water and access to land and how we can grow our next generation of farmers. GMO has taken a lot of energy and emphasis away from more important issues like these. Another important issue is access to markets, making it easier for farmers to overcome regulatory hurdles, reducing our dependence on imported food and providing real food security.

My message to the Council and the community is…”

You can read the rest of his message and other mayor’s thoughts on the issue here: “Talk Story with Neighbor Island Mayors”

Hawaii Residents Being Targeted for Scams

Hawaiʻi Island police are warning the public about several scams that have been reported by island residents.

HPDBadgeTelephone Scams:

A Keaʻau couple reported being the target of three telephone scams within two weeks. The first was a telephone call to their cell phone claiming they had won the Publisher’s Clearing House prize of several million dollars and that someone would arrive in a couple of hours to deliver it. The area code showed the call originated from Jamaica.

The second apparent scam was a call to the couple’s home phone from a blocked number by a woman with a foreign accent who began to ask questions about the recipient’s computer.

Credit Card Blocked Scam:

The third scam was a late-night phone call from an Arkansas area code with a “mechanical female voice” claiming the couple’s Master Card had been blocked. The recipient hung up the phone and then researched the scam and learned that the next step is for the caller to ask for the recipient’s credit card number.

Police urge the public to be suspicious of requests for personal information over the telephone or by internet and not to provide such information without independently verifying that the request is legitimate.

Real Estate Email Scam:

Hawaiʻi Island police are warning the public about an email scam from someone posing as a real estate agent.

A Puna man received an email claiming that his home would be seized by police because of suspected illegal activities. It states that the recipient has 30 days to vacate the premises or he will face fines or jail time. It instructs the recipient to contact the sender to make arrangements for moving out of the home. An attachment—which the letter claims has a “legal statement” and contact information for the real estate company—actually contains a computer virus.

The Police Department does not seize residential property without a court order, and citizens are not subject to criminal fines or jail sentences without going through the judicial process.

Police alert the public not to open email attachments from senders they do not know, as they often contain viruses that can infect computers and might ask for personal information that could allow the sender to steal the recipient’s identity. Police recommend deleting unsolicited emails with attachments.

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United Response to John Doe vs. County of Hawaii GMO Lawsuit

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United is aware of the legal action  “John Doe vs. County of Hawaii” filed in State Superior Court against the County of Hawaii…

Farmers and Ranchers UnitedWe “STRONGLY SUPPORT and Stand United with our fellow Farmers in this suit. Brought by Farmers who are frightened by the potential implications of complying with these unjustified and intrusive requirements – specifically, harassment of their family and employees and vandalism of their operations by anti-technology activists.

In John Doe vs. County of Hawaii, the complaint seeks declaratory and injunctive relief from implementing the registration and disclosure provisions of “Hawaii Bill 113.”

Due to the immediacy of the registration deadline, this complaint seeks relief only in connection with the registration and disclosure requirements of Bill 113, even though the entirety of Bill 113 is legally invalid because it stands in direct conflict with numerous federal and state laws.

Signed into law on December 5, 2013, the County enacted Bill 113, which imposes a county-wide ban on the development, propagation, cultivation, and open-air testing of most GE crops.

The registration and disclosure requirements of Bill 113 unfairly target growers of genetically engineered crops, primarily papaya growers, by forcing them to disclose personal and commercially confidential information about themselves and their operations without any scientific or factual justification:

Without any assurances that the County can or will protect the registration information from public disclosure as allowed under Bill 113, these farmers and growers have good reason to believe that providing this information could result in real harm – including the vandalizing of their crops or intimidation or harassment of their family and/or employees.  Unfortunately, in recent years, anti-genetically engineered or anti-GMO agriculture political activism in Hawaiʻi (and throughout the United States) has crossed the line from a spirited debate to extremism, vandalism, and violence.

The lawsuit alleges that the disclosure provision of Bill 113 is in direct conflict with two State laws – the Uniform Information Practices Act and the Uniform Trade Secrets Act – and violates Plaintiff’s rights to privacy and due process under the Constitution of Hawaii.

Accordingly, it asks the court to enjoin or suspend the registration process until the court ultimately determines the lawfulness of the disclosure provision and how this information will be treated under state law.

Big Island Police Investigating Robbery at Carlsmith Beach Park in Keaukaha

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a robbery at a public beach earlier in the month.

At 11:33 a.m. on February 14, South Hilo Patrol officers responded to a report of a robbery two hours earlier in the parking lot of Carlsmith Beach Park in Keaukaha.

NUMBER 2: Carlsmith Beach Park in Keaukaha

NUMBER 2: Carlsmith Beach Park in Keaukaha

A 58-year-old Hilo man was reportedly loading his car after a swim, when a young man approached from behind and asked for help. When the victim turned around, the suspect punched him, grabbed his wallet and ran away. He may have gotten into a small white sedan heading toward Hilo.

He was described as a local male in his 20s, slim with a tan complexion, short black hair and unshaven. He was wearing dark surf shorts.

Police ask anyone who may have witnessed the incident or anyone who knows the identity of the suspect to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers 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.

Governor Abercrombie Calls for Public Input on Climate Change

Having recently met with President Obama and other state governors on a variety of issues including climate change, Gov. Neil Abercrombie is asking for ideas from Hawaii residents on how the federal government can better support state and other local efforts in climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience.

Climate Change and Abercrombie

In November 2013, Gov. Abercrombie was one of 26 members appointed to the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. Members have been asked to develop recommendations in the areas of:

  • Disaster Management
  • Built Systems (water, transportation, energy, facilities and coastal infrastructure)
  • Natural Resources and Agriculture
  • Community Development and Health

The public is invited to provide input through an online form at http://governor.hawaii.gov/climate-change-task-force-survey/. Since the Task Force is on an expedited timeline, the first round of input must be received by Monday, March 10.  The form is also accessible from the Governor’s homepage, http://governor.hawaii.gov, by clicking on “Your Input on Climate Change” under “Useful Links.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity to share Hawaii’s unique needs, challenges and innovative solutions, while advising federal officials on what kind of support is needed and what would be most effective here in the islands,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Members of the President’s task force from every part of the country agree this is the challenge of our time and we must work together to prepare for and mitigate impacts.”

“Gov. Abercrombie’s appointment to the President’s task force puts our state in a valuable position to share what matters most for Hawaii in building a resilient future,” said State Sustainability Coordinator Jacqueline Kozak Thiel. “The recommendations submitted will be considered by the task force for the final presentation to President Obama. Although the focus of the task force is how the federal government can better support our climate change efforts in Hawaii, this is also a chance for us to identify next steps for action that we can take together as a state.”

Resilient Hawaii Forum
Another opportunity to share recommendations and discuss next steps for addressing climate change in Hawaii will be the Governor’s second Resilient Hawaii Forum, a free and open session being held during the Pacific Risk Management Ohana (PRiMO) conference on March 12, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center. As mentioned in his 2014 State of the State Address, the Governor is convening the forums this year to engage stakeholders – Native Hawaiian organizations, natural resource managers, the military, tourism officials, agricultural representatives, researchers and government at all levels – to create a climate change roadmap for Hawaii. For more information on the PRiMO conference, visit http://collaborate.csc.noaa.gov/PRiMO/Pages/index.aspx.

Navigating Change
Read Navigating Change, Hawaii’s Approach to Adaptation, a report presented by Gov. Abercrombie at the first meeting of the President’s Task Force for Climate Preparedness and Resilience in December 2013: http://governor.hawaii.gov/blog/navigating-climate-change/.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Update

Kahaualeʻa 2 flow still active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

View of the flow front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, looking west. The flow front has focused into a new lobe that is slowly migrating through thick forest, triggering scattered forest fires. The smoke from these fires seems to be “seeding” the cloud above it. The active flow front was 7.4 km (4.6 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Mauna Loa can be seen in the distance.

Top: Looking northeast from Puʻu ʻŌʻō, the smoke coming from forest fires at the front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow can be seen in the distance. In the foreground, thick fume is coming from the Kahaualeʻa 2 lava tube, which is supplying lava to the flow front. Bottom: View of the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. This small cone is also the vent area for the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow. The cone has recently hosted a small lava pond, but today this seemed to be crusted over. See the time-lapse sequences below to see recent activity at this cone.

Thermal image of the front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow. Yellow and white areas depict active breakouts, while red areas are cooler, inactive portions of the flow. Over the past week a new lobe has pushed east, between lobes that were active in November and January. The tip of this new lobe was 7.4 km (4.6 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Compare this view to the February 20 map (see link above).

Spattering and gas pistoning in the northeast cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō

This selection of images shows activity at the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō over the past two weeks. The lava pond was undergoing gas pistoning, a gradual buildup and release of gas in the lava pond that is often associated with spattering and lava level changes. For scale, the lava pond is about 10 m (30 feet) across.

More images of the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō, taken with a time-lapse camera.

This Quicktime movie shows a time-lapse sequence of activity at the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater on February 9-10. Rapid fluctuations in the height of the lava pond are caused by gas pistoning, which is the gradual buildup and release of gas in the pond. Mauna Kea is visible in the upper right portion of the frame. The sequence was captured by an inexpensive time-lapse camera, whose plastic housing was warped by the extreme heat.

Senator Malama Solomon on the Hawaii Business News “Geothermal Article”

Senator Malama Solomon responded to the following Hawaii Business News article:

Click to read article

Click to read article

Your report on geothermal energy (HB November 2013, “Geothermal is a Red-Hot Topic”) failed to make some very important points about why geothermal would improve the quality of life for all of us in Hawaii.

• Geothermal is used worldwide and can be applied to Hawaii. According to the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, there are several regions worldwide with geothermal and geologic conditions very similar to Hawaii, such as Iceland and New Zealand. Both nations benefit from electrical rates of up to 12 cents per kilowatt hour, compared to Hawaii’s average of 32 cents/kwh. DLNR also points out that these two countries, plus Japan and Indonesia, have seen decades of safe and economical use of geothermal energy.

• Safeguards are already in place. “The State of Hawaii has developed a thorough series of procedures to review, regulate and oversee the development of geothermal resources,” says DLNR Chair William Aila. “This includes the drilling of all geothermal wells, the protection of underground sources of drinking water, safe well construction techniques, and seismic monitoring.”

Also, geothermal development projects are required by Chapter 343, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to develop an Environmental Impact Statement, which includes public disclosure of potential impacts and proposed mitigations measures that are subject to public hearings and a public comment period before any project can proceed forward. “These processes are already in place ensure the protection of the environment, natural and cultural resources, and the public’s health and safety,” Alia says.

• Geothermal has Hawaiian support. “Hawaiians have supported and continue to support geothermal development on Hawaii Island,” says Mililani Trask of the Innovations Development Group. She points out geothermal development has received support by the largest Hawaiian organization, the Hawaiian Civic Clubs, Hawaiian energy producers and land owners, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, who has also invested in a Hawaiian company seeking to develop the resource on Hawaii Island.

We have a great opportunity to responsibly develop geothermal to provide clean, renewable and firm power to our homes and businesses at a lower cost.

Sen. Malama Solomon

Senate District 4 (Hilo, Hāmākua, Waimea, Kohala, Waikoloa and Kona)

Grassroot Institute Issue Brief Looks at the Minimum Wage Debate

A recent Issue Brief from the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii considers the effects of an increase in the minimum wage, concluding that the raise in the minimum wage currently before the Hawaii Legislature will not advance the goal of improving the plight of Hawaii’s working poor.

Click to read brief

Click to read brief

The report, entitled Four Things You Should Know About the Minimum Wage Debate in Hawaii, identifies four key areas of concern that are at odds with the objectives of the legislation. They are:

  • Raising the minimum wage will benefit less than 4%of low-income working families.
  • The current proposed minimum wage raise increases the costs of low-skilled labor by 39%.
  • Raising the minimum wage will not lift working families out of poverty.
  • Raising the minimum wage is expected to reduce teenage employment.

Though the intent of a minimum wage increase is to lift Hawaii’s working families out of poverty, the brief concludes that such legislation will do little to achieve this objective while placing a substantial burden on Hawaii’s small businesses and employers. In effect, states the brief author, “[a]n increase in the minimum wage would accomplish no more than to increase benefits for a handful of low-income working families at the expense of teenage workers and small business owners. The one thing that the minimum wage proposal does accomplish, however, is to effectively divert the political narrative away from the real causes of poverty and inequality in Hawaii.”

“The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii continues to advocate for free market solutions to our state’s economic problems,” states Dr. Keli’i Akina, President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. “Unfortunately, the proposed raise in the minimum wage is nothing more than a band-aid solution that will burden Hawaii’s businesses without effectively helping our state’s working families. What we really need is a reduction in the obstacles that the state places on business and entrepreneurship in Hawaii, as a vibrant and growing economy is the best way to improve the situation of low-wage workers.”

You can read or download this brief in its entirety at: http://new.grassrootinstitute.org/2014/02/four-things-you-should-know-about-the-minimum-wage-debate-in-hawaii/.

Captain Cooked Treasure Revealed

After four years author S.P. Grogan has revealed the location of the hidden $5,000 Hawaiian war club, where the clues were to be found in his award-winning mystery thriller, Captain Cooked. (www.spgrogan.com)

captain cooked

Captain Cooked (www.captaincooked.com) is the second treasure hunt in the Quest Mystery ™ series where clues lead to a cash prize. The first, Vegas Die, had a hidden dagger worth $25,000.

In the search for the hidden Hawaiian war club, the Lei-OˈManō, with clues within Captain Cooked, treasurer seekers (called Questors) were to use geocaching and metal detectors and search on The Big Island of Hawaiˈi.  Eight ammunition cases also holding clues were hidden throughout the island, including within a lava tube and even at South Point, the farthest most southern tip of the United States.  A highly popular event for family and groups, geocachers (geocaching.com) can still search out the locations of the Captain Cooked caches across the island. No one to the date of the contest closing had found the war club though several Questors did come close.

Location of the treasure (now removed):  On your way to Waipi’o Valley, at a trash dump, under a tire, under an ammunition case (#2), under white coral rocks, is another ammunition case (#8).  For more information on the clues and full answer visit:  spgrogan.com.

Captain Cooked, 2011 winner of the ‘Aloha Across the Sea’ award from the Hawaiˈi Publishers Association, is also a culinary mystery featuring recipes from the top chefs and restaurants on The Big Island with a portion of book sale proceeds to go to The Food Basket, Hawaiian Islands Food Bank.

Captain Cooked can be purchased within the Hawaiian Islands as well at Amazon, Smashwords, and Nook, both as hard cover and E-book.

Author Grogan’s most recent work, not a Quest Mystery, but still as entertaining, is a political action thriller E-book entitled, bin Laden’s Revenge.

I got a chance to review the book back in August

I got a chance to review the book back in August

For further information and in-depth answers to Mystery Quest plus search photos visit:  S.P. Grogan  (www.spgrogan.com)