Big Island Police Arrest Pahoa Man for Trying to Run Down Two Officers

Hawaiʻi Island police have arrested 38-year-old Riley Asuncion of Pāhoa on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of attempted second-degree murder for attempting to run down two officers on Monday.

Riley Asuncion

Riley Asuncion

Asuncion was taken to the Hilo police cellblock shortly before 7 p.m. Monday (July 21) after being released from Hilo Medical Center, where he was treated for a bruise to his torso sustained when the officers fired at him when he tried to run them down while they were on foot.

Asuncion was also arrested on suspicion of unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and assault for an incident that started in downtown Hilo. In that case, passersby reported what they thought was a domestic dispute in a vehicle traveling from Hilo to the Panaʻewa area. The 30-year-old female victim, who was an acquaintance of Asuncion’s, managed to escape from the SUV before police located and began to pursue it. Police later located her in Hilo.

The pursuit began shortly before 11:30 a.m. Monday, when South Hilo Patrol officers responded to the reports of a domestic incident in a pink sports-utility vehicle.

The officers located the SUV. When they attempted to contact the operator, it fled. Officers followed it to Stainback Highway, where it turned around on a side road and drove recklessly toward two officers, who had exited their police vehicles. In response, three shots were fired toward the SUV, which continued down Stainback Highway. It then stopped a short distance later and the suspect fled into the bushes.

Police determined that no one else was in the SUV at that time.

They located Asuncion a short time later, arrested him and took him to Hilo Medical Center.

Asuncion remains at the cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

As is standard practice in any police involved shooting, the Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigations Section is conducting a criminal investigation into the shooting and the Office of Professional Standards is conducting an administrative investigation. The two officers involved are on desk duty during the investigation. One has been with the Hawaiʻi Police Department for six years and the other for approximately a year.

First Group of New Inmates Arrive at Kulani Correctional Facility

The first group of 21 inmates were transported up to Kulani Correctional Facility this morning.

Kumu Kini K. Burke, dignitaries, and guests gather for the blessing of Kulani Correctional Facility on July 2nd.

Kumu Kini K. Burke, dignitaries, and guests gather for the blessing of Kulani Correctional Facility on July 2nd.

The facility closed in 2009, resulting in the displacement of nearly 100 staff and the transfer of almost 200 Hawaii inmates to other overcrowded state facilities.

On July 1, Gov. Neil Abercrombie joined Public Safety Department (PSD) Director Ted Sakai and members of the East Hawaii community to mark the grand re-opening of Kulani Correctional Facility in Hilo.

Governor Neil Abercrombie and Warden Ruth Coller-Forbes untie the maile lei and officially open the Kulani Correctional Facility.

Governor Neil Abercrombie and Warden Ruth Coller-Forbes untie the maile lei and officially open the Kulani Correctional Facility.

There are currently 56 staff working at the facility. Sixteen new ACOs started Basic Corrections Training on June 30 and will begin their jobs at Kulani upon graduation in August. In addition, 19 more positions are in various stages of recruitment.

Kulani’s 200 low-risk inmates will return in phases. The rest will return in increments over the next five months.

Governor Neil Abercrombie accepts a plaque from the Kulani Staff.

Governor Neil Abercrombie accepts a plaque from the Kulani Staff.

Vocational training and substance abuse treatment programs will be added through partnerships with community providers and other state departments. The vocational programs include a Facility Maintenance Program, Agriculture/Horticulture Program and other technology career training programs.

“The Facilities Maintenance Program teaches the inmates important trade skills like carpentry, drywall, solar installation, and electrical and plumbing fundamentals,” said Kulani Warden Ruth Coller Forbes. “The inmates will be helping to maintain and upgrade Kulani while learning important trade skills. We want them to leave Kulani as self-sufficient, productive members of society and never come back.”

PSD is also working with kupuna from East Hawaii to develop programs based on traditional Hawaiian values. In addition, the Departments of Agriculture and Labor are working with Kulani to develop a plan for a sustainable agriculture program that can help inmates develop essential work skills and provide fresh produce for the facility.

Kulani Banner

Kulani’s reactivation is a major accomplishment of the Abercrombie Administration and is consistent with Hawaii’s participation in the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), launched last year. The JRI strategy is a data-driven plan to reduce spending on corrections, reinvest savings generated in strategies that would reverse crime trends and eventually bring inmates housed in Arizona back to Hawaii.

In anticipation of the reopening, $686,400 was allocated for construction and renovation of the facility.

Community Meetings Scheduled to Assist and Educate Kupuna From Becoming Victims of Crime

Mayor Billy Kenoi, the Hawaiʻi Police Department, Hawaiʻi County Office of Aging and Hawaiʻi County Mass Transit Agency, in partnership with  Department of Attorney General, Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance Division, Community and Crime Prevention Branch, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affair, Office of the Securities Commissioner, Department of Health, Executive Office on Aging, Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP Hawaiʻi), Department of Public Safety, Narcotics Enforcement Division will hold four Kupuna Alert Partners (KAP) presentations to assist and educate our kupuna to curtail and prevent becoming victims of fraud, prescription drug misuse and crime.

HPDBadgeThe KAP program was initially formed as a State multi-agency group partnership to bring pertinent information on Medicare fraud prevention, securities fraud prevention and prescription drug misuse to the community. Additionally, the Hawaiʻi Police Department will provide information and tips on securing your residence to prevent burglaries and thefts.

“Because our kupuna are particularly vulnerable and oftentimes targeted as victims of property crimes, the Hawaiʻi Police Department has established partnerships with these State and County agencies in order to reach out and educate our kupuna about awareness and prevention,” said Police Chief Harry Kubojiri. “These KAP presentations are not only for our kupuna, but also for their family members and caregivers.”

Immediately following each 1-hour Kupuna Alert Partners presentation, the Department of Public Safety’s Narcotics Enforcement Division will conduct a half-hour prescription drug take-back operation. Participants are encouraged to bring their unused or expired mediation for safe, anonymous disposal.

The following topics will be covered during the KAP presentations in Kona and Waimea on August 12 and in Hilo and Puna on August 13:

Medical Identity Theft and Medicare Fraud Prevention
Preventing Prescription Drug Misuse
Investor Fraud Prevention
Burglary Prevention Tips

The presentations will take place at the following times and locations:
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Kona
West Hawai‘i Civic Center, County Council Room
10:30-11:30 a.m. (Medication Take-Back 11:30-12:00)

Waimea
Hawaiian Homes Hall
2:30-3:30 p.m. (Medication Take-Back 3:30-4:00)
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hilo
Aunty Sally’s Luau Hale
10:00-11:00 a.m. Wednesday (Medication Take-Back 11:00-11:30)

Puna
Keaʻau Community Center
2:00-3:00 p.m. (Medication Take-Back 3:00-3:30)

The public is encouraged to attend.

Cattlemen Sue Hawaii County Over GMO Ban

Hawaiian papaya and banana growers have joined cattlemen and floral producers to fight a ban on open-air growing and testing of genetically modified crops imposed by the Hawaii County Council.

The ban exempts existing papaya crops and growers. However, no new acres can be planted, according to the case filed June 9 in federal court. Hawaii County includes the entire Island of Hawaii. A scheduling hearing is set Sept. 8.

Growers say the ban — known as Bill 113 — conflicts with state and federal laws and is unconstitutional, according to the case filed by the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association (HPIA) and the Big Island Banana Growers Association. Other plaintiffs joining in the case include the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, the Pacific Floral Exchange and the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

The Hawaii County Council approved Bill 113 in December with a 6-3 vote. It requires existing GMO growers to annually register and pay a $100 fee. In another court action, a judge recently ruled the county cannot make public growers’ personal information and specific field locations collected in the registry.

Growers challenged publication of the registry saying it would encourage vandalism, which has previously resulted in crop destruction.

Hawaii’s papaya industry was nearly destroyed by ringspot virus in the early 1990s, and development of the Rainbow variety was the industry’s answer. The Rainbow variety passed federal review and was first planted in 1998. According to court documents, at least 85% of the papaya crop grown on Hawaii Island is Rainbow.

“Bill 113 has stigmatized HPIA members by conveying a false message that (GMO) crops and plants harm human health and the environment and has imposed other costs on HPIA,” according to the lawsuit.

Banana growers, including Richard Ha who is a plaintiff in the federal case, contend they need the option to test and possibly plant GMO bananas to mitigate threats from bunchy top virus and other diseases.

More here: Cattlemen Sue Hawaii County Over GMO Ban

2014 “Rusty Scalpel” Winner Announced

The League of Women Voters and Common Cause Hawaii have a 2014 “Rusty Scalpel” winner, HB2434, CD1, Relating to the Transient Accommodations Tax! The two organizations offer a “Rusty Scalpel” award for the most altered bill whose original content is no longer recognizable because of “surgical techniques” that changed the original purpose of the bill.

hb2434During a Conference Committee near the end of the 2014 legislative session, without meaningful opportunity for public or agency comment, HB 2434 SD 2 was drastically amended. When introduced the measure was a bill to allocate $3 million of hotel tax revenues to a multi-purpose conservation fund. After the Conference Committee discarded the SD2, the bill morphed to a measure to refinance the Convention Center debt. Proceeds of the refinancing will be used to acquire the conservation easement at Turtle Bay, Oahu. Regardless of the final proposal’s merits, there was no compelling reason not to extend the session and hold public hearings on this important amended bill.

HB2434_SD2 Pdf File
HB2434_SD1 Pdf File
HB2434_HD2 Pdf File
HB2434_HD1 Pdf File
HB2434_CD1 Pdf File
HB2434 Pdf File

It disrespects Hawaii’s Constitution when a legislative committee adopts bill amendments with no rational connection to the subject of the bill referred to that committee. Article III, Section 14 of our Constitution specifically requires that each bill have a single subject expressed in the bill’s title and prohibits changing any bill’s title. Article III, Section 15 requires that each bill have three separate readings in each house of the Legislature. The unambiguous intent is to encourage informed public comment on all proposed legislation and thorough consideration of all relevant factors by both House and Senate subject matter committees. The public obviously is not aware of and cannot comment on substantive amendments being proposed in Conference Committee.

Ann Shaver, League President, said “This makes a travesty of the democratic process. Just because there are enough votes to pass a measure doesn’t make it Constitutional. HB2434 CD1 proposed a new idea, maybe even a great idea, but it was obviously unrelated to the bill’s original purpose. The content of the CD1 stunned us; it was passed without a single public hearing when there was no emergency. “

Carmille Lim of Common Cause added, “Citizens should be able to participate in the legislative process in a fair and orderly manner. In this case, a $40 million dollar appropriation was grafted on to a major last-minute change, depriving many members of the legislature from the normal review and give and take of budget discussions. Gutting bills and replacing content with new and unrelated content that alters the bill’s original intention does a disservice to members of the public and distorts the legislative process.

“Last year the League of Women Voters, Common Cause and other civic organizations petitioned both houses of the Legislature asking that they amend legislative rules to ban such practices, but the legislature chose to do nothing. Maybe a Constitutional amendment to prohibit this would make democracy work a little better.

In the 2014 session the League and Common Cause identified dozens of bills which were subjected to these techniques. For example, HB 193 concerned developer compliance with conditions for land use district boundary amendments while HB 193, SD 1 concerned use of State property for transit-oriented development. Or for example, SB 2535 concerned State acquisition of real property for agricultural production while SB 2535, proposed HD 1 concerned labeling of genetically modified food.

In general, when the subject of a bill was totally changed after cross-over, only one public hearing was held on the amended subject (with the Senate totally disregarding public testimony to the House, and the House totally disregarding public testimony to the Senate). However, HB2434, CD1 was our “winner” because not only was it a “gut and replace” no hearing was held on the CD1 version of the bill.

Common Cause Hawaii is a state chapter of the national Common Cause organization. Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to protecting and improving Hawaii’s political process and holding government accountable to the public interest. For more information, www.commoncause.org/states/hawaii/

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For more information visit http://www.lwv-hawaii.com/index.htm

Big Island Police Need Help Identifying Composite Drawings of Robbery Suspects

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in identifying robbery suspects shown in composite drawings.

Composite Sketch

Composite Sketch

Sketch2
At 2:20 a.m. on June 27, Kona Patrol officers responded to a reported robbery near the intersection of Highway 190 and Loloa Drive in Kalaoa.

The victim, a 27-year-old Kailua-Kona man, had been hitchhiking at the intersection of Palani Road and Henry Street in Kailua-Kona when two men in a dark Jeep Cherokee picked him up. Near the intersection of Highway 190 and Loloa Drive, the Jeep pulled off the road onto an access road to the Department of Water Supply’s pump station. The driver then reportedly exited the vehicle, went to the rear passenger door armed with a knife and robbed the victim of an undisclosed amount of cash. While the victim was walking away from the Jeep, the driver attacked him, causing a stab wound to his right arm and a laceration to his chest.

The victim was able to flee the area and call 911. He was taken to Kona Community Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Following the victim’s lengthy recovery, detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section were able to work with a Police Department forensic artist to produce composite sketches of the suspects. The driver was described as a local male, 6-feet tall, 200 pounds in his early 30s. The passenger, who was only seen from the rear, was described as a heavy-set local male with long hair in a pony tail that had several dark bands.

Police ask anyone with information about this case or the suspects’ identities to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Levon Stevens at 326-4646, extension 275, or lstevens@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

The Elders Headline Pillars of Peace Hawaii Events

Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i to host peace leaders Gro Harlem Brundtland, Hina Jilani, and Desmond Tutu in a series of community events.

Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i, an initiative of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, will host three preeminent global leaders from The Elders from August 29-31. While in Honolulu, they will engage in a series of exchanges with the people of Hawai‘i on peace, compassion, and ethical leadership. The Pillars of Peace Hawaii program was established in part to inspire our community to cultivate empathy, mindfulness and justice in our daily lives and better understand the roles of diversity and culture in the practice of peace.

Elders

The Elders include former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director-General of the World Health Organization, Gro Harlem Brundtland; renowned lawyer, pro-democracy campaigner and Pakistani women’s movement leader Hina Jilani; and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate, veteran anti-apartheid activist and peace campaigner.

This is the first time that representatives of The Elders will engage Hawai‘i. The community will have the unique opportunity to listen to this world-renowned group of leaders in a public forum entitled “A Just and Inclusive Global Community,” on Sunday, August 31, 4:00 p.m. at the Hawai‘i Convention Center’s Lili‘u Theater. Tickets for the public presentation will be available for purchase at http://pillarsofpeacehawaii.org/schedule-tickets-the-elders on August 1st. Student tickets are $12 and general public tickets are $20; both include validated parking at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

There will also be an opportunity for selected Hawai‘i students to attend a special Student Leaders Program, “Leaders Make the Future: the Wisdom of Elders and Youngers.” The student leaders will be chosen to attend by their schools’ administrators or teachers. Other areas of discussion during the Elders’ visit to Hawai‘i include climate change and ethical leadership.

“We are honored to have such an esteemed group of leaders come to Hawai‘i to share their global experiences and perspectives on peace issues,” said Kelvin H. Taketa, President and CEO of Hawai‘i Community Foundation. “Their visit will enable us, in turn, to share our approach to peace, influenced by the spirit of aloha and our community that merges numerous cultural influences.”

The Elders is an independent group of global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007; they use their collective wisdom, experience, and influence to support peace building, address major causes of human suffering, and promote the shared interests of humanity.

Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General, currently chairs The Elders. Archbishop Tutu served for six years as Chair and remains an Honorary Elder. Using its members’ collective experiences and insights, the group promotes universal human rights and peace. For more information on The Elders, please visit http://www.theelders.org/.

The Elders’ visit is part of “Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i: Building Peace on a Foundation of Aloha,” an initiative of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation launched in 2012. The program’s events aim to spark conversations about the roles of compassion, diversity, and culture in the practice of peace. Highlighting Hawai‘i’s culture and its spirit of aloha, the program also positions Hawai‘i as a leading voice for peace. Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i is funded by the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation and other partners. For more information on this initiative, please visit http://pillarsofpeacehawaii.org/.

About Hawai‘i Community Foundation

The Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF), with 98 years of community service, is the leading philanthropic institution in the state. The Foundation is a steward of over 650 funds, including more than 190 scholarship funds, created by donors who desire to transform lives and improve communities. In 2013, $43 million in grants and contracts were distributed by HCF statewide, including $4 million in scholarships. The HCF also serves as a resource on community issues and trends in the nonprofit sector. For more information on HCF, please visit http://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/.

Big Island Police Investigating Puna Home Invasion and Robbery

Puna Patrol officers responded to a 2:30 a.m. report Tuesday (July 8) of a robbery at a home in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision.

HPDBadgeAn unknown man whose face was obscured with fabric entered a house on 1st Avenue off Maku‘u Street, brandished what appeared to be a firearm and threatened the 80-year-old male occupant. He then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The suspect is described as Caucasian, 6-foot-2, 140 pounds with brown eyes and a long, thin face. He was wearing baggy brown pants and a short-sleeved multi-color shirt.

Police ask anyone with information about this case or the identity of the suspect to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Royce Serrao at 961-2272 or rpserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to Hold Change of Command

After three years as commander, Capt. Jeffrey W. James will transfer command of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to Capt. Stanley Keeve, Jr. during a change of command ceremony on Friday, July 11 at 10 a.m. The ceremony will be held at the grassy knoll on the south end of Ford Island.

Capt. Jeffrey W. James (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jon Dasbach/Released)

Capt. Jeffrey W. James (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jon Dasbach/Released)

James took command in June 2011 as the second commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, which officially stood up in October 2010. Prior to reporting to Joint Base, James served on the staff of Commander, U. S. Pacific Fleet. He will retire after 30 years of naval service.

A native of the Washington D. C. area, Capt. Keeve comes to Hawaii from the Pentagon, where he served as military assistant to the Defense Business Board in the Pentagon. He is a surface warfare officer with tours of duty on numerous ships, including the former Pearl Harbor-based frigate, USS Reuben James (FFG 57).

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is home to the Air Force’s key strategic flight line in the Pacific and the Navy’s most historically significant homeport, with 177 tenant commands and about 93,000 active duty personal and their family members, Dept. of Defense civilians and contractors.

HI-EMA Encourages Public to Update Emergency Notification Service

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), formerly known as State Civil Defense, encourages members of the public to sign up for local emergency notifications provided by county civil defense and emergency management agencies.

Department of DefenseInstructions for island-specific systems are available at:

On June 30, 2014, Sprint Relay Hawaii discontinued its emergency notification system that the company had been providing free of charge for 6 years. Relay Hawaii was designed to provide Short Message Service (SMS)/text messages on natural disasters and other emergencies to the deaf and hard of hearing community.

“Sprint Relay Hawaii has been a terrific partner in providing warning of approaching hazards and emergencies, and we are grateful for the services it provided,” said Doug Mayne, Administrator for Emergency Management. “Individuals are urged to update notice subscriptions with alternatives. Having a reliable way to get information on local dangers is crucial to making sure an emergency doesn’t turn into a disaster.”

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are also available through the federal government for people with WEA-enabled phones. Go to http://www.ready.gov/alerts for more information.

Hawai‘i County Awarded $375,000 to Control Little Fire Ants

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation has partnered with County Councilman Dennis “Fresh” Onishi to obtain $375,000 to control little fire ant infestations island-wide.

Little Fire Ant – Queen and worker ant

Little Fire Ant – Queen and worker ant

The State Department of Agriculture is providing $200,000, and the Hawai‘i Invasive Species Council has awarded a grant of $175,000 that will allow the Department of Parks and Recreation to establish a little fire ant (LFA) control program at County parks and facilities.

Funding will be used to hire up to three full-time employees who will work exclusively fighting LFA infestations island-wide, purchase bait and equipment, and finance transportation needs.

Once an infested park or facility has been identified, the LFA team will apply bait on a six-week cycle, rotate the bait type based on recommendations from the Hawai‘i Ant Lab, and then continually monitor the treated area to ensure a reduction in ant infestations.

Similar treatments conducted at Richardson Ocean Park in Hilo have reduced LFA populations in the affected areas by up to 40 percent, according to data collected during a recently completed pilot project involving the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Hawai‘i Ant Lab.

Ranked among the world’s worst invasive species due to the environmental harm they cause and ability to inflict painful stings that can blind animals, LFAs have established colonies in numerous areas following their discovery on Hawai‘i Island in 1999.

The Department of Parks and Recreation wishes to thank Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture, and Hawai‘i Invasive Species Council members for providing the funding needed to establish the LFA control program.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Big Island Police Investigating Puna Robbery

Hawaii Island police are investigating a robbery Saturday in Puna.
HPDBadgeAt 10:23 p.m. Saturday (July 5), Puna Patrol officers responded to a home on the 15-0600 block of Kahakai Boulevard in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision.

A 36-year-old man reported that while an acquaintance and two other local males were in his house, they took his computer hard drive and mobile phone. When he asked for the items back, he was struck numerous times in the face, causing minor injuries.

The victim was able to get away from the suspects and call police. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was treated for his injuries and released.

Police ask anyone who has any information about this case or the identity of the suspects to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2378 or wcarter@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Hilo Man Charged in Unauthorized Entry of Dwelling

A Hilo man has been charged with unauthorized entry of a dwelling for an incident Sunday in the Sunrise Estates subdivision in Hilo.

Henry Henry

Henry Henry

At 10:56 a.m. Sunday (July 6) South Hilo Patrol officers responded to a report of an unknown man entering the premises at a home on the 800 block of Kukuau Street. When a 33-year-old male occupant confronted the suspect, he fled on foot.

Police investigation led to the identity of a suspect. Police arrested 22-year-old Henry Henry of Hilo on Mohouli Street at 3:22 p.m. Sunday. He was taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

At 9:50 a.m. Monday (July 7), detectives charged him with second-degree unauthorized entry of a dwelling. His bail was set at $2,000.

Breakout Lava Flow Kahauale’a 2 Now Dead

The June 27 breakout building a lava shield near Puʻu ʻŌʻō; Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is now dead.

The June 27 breakout initially produced a channelized lava flow that reached Puʻu Kahaualeʻa (about 1.5 km, or 0.9 miles, from the vent) during the first day, but over the past two days the surface flows have retreated closer to the vent, building a lava shield (visible just above the center of the photograph).

This comparison of the normal photograph with a thermal image shows the extent of the lava shield clearly. The lava shield is visible as the area of high temperatures (hot colors) in the thermal image. Corresponding spots are marked with small arrows for reference. The initial channelized flow that reached Puʻu Kahaualeʻa during the first day is inactive now, but still slightly warm.

Another look at the lava shield formed from lava erupting from the June 27 vent. The shield consists of a broad, and relatively flat, top with multiple narrow streams of lava flowing down the sides.

A view of the lava shield with the thermal camera.

The lava pond in the northeast portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. A lava pond has existed here for months, but it enlarged considerably during lava level drop and collapses that occurred with the start of the June 27 breakout. Today, the lava pond was about 35 meters (yards) across, and seven meters (yards) below the rim
A view from the ground of the lava pond in the northeast portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. Note the layering exposed in the wall above the pond surface.

View of the wall above the lava pond in the northeast portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. The lava pond surface is in the lower portion of the photograph. The dark hole in the upper part of the photograph is the truncated entrance to the lava tube that had been supplying lava to the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow. With the lava level well below the entrance to the lava tube, lava is no longer flowing into the tube and the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is now inactive. The lava tube here is about 2 meters (yards) wide.

A closer view of the entrance to the lava tube that had been supplying the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow.

This Quicktime movie shows activity in the lava pond in the northeast portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. A lava pond has been here for months, but it enlarged considerably during the June 27 breakout as the lava level in the pond dropped.

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is dead

Until recently, surface flows were active in this portion of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, triggering small brush fires and creating smoke plumes. With the opening of new vents on June 27, the supply of lava into the Kahaualeʻa 2 tube was shut off (see photos of the tube above). There were no active surface flows anywhere on the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow today.

Big Island Police Conducting DUI Checkpoints This Weekend

With the approach of the long Fourth of July weekend and the continuation of graduation parties, Hawaiʻi Island police will be on alert to help prevent tragedy on our roads.

HPDBadgeOfficers will conduct DUI checkpoints and roving patrols beginning Thursday, July 3, and continuing through Sunday, July 6. The effort is part of a national and statewide campaign called “Drunk Driving: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

Driving under the influence of alcohol presents a potential danger to every motorist, passenger and pedestrian the driver encounters. Already this year, Hawaiʻi Island police have made more than 600 DUI arrests, and seven people have died in traffic fatalities.

The Hawaiʻi Police Department wishes everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend.

Kona Man Dies Following Assault

A 52-year-old man found badly injured in Kailua-Kona on Tuesday morning has died of his injuries.

HPDBadgeWalter Kamana of Kailua-Kona was pronounced dead at The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu at 9:16 a.m. Wednesday (July 2). The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s office is scheduled to conduct an autopsy Thursday (July 3) to determine the exact cause of death.

The case was initially classified as an assault. Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section are awaiting results of the autopsy before reclassifying it. They continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death.

At 5:55 a.m. Tuesday (July 1), patrol officers conducting routine checks near the Kailua pier observed an unconscious local male, later identified as Kamana, lying face down on the makai sidewalk of Aliʻi Drive by the sea wall.

He was taken to Kona Community Hospital with a head injury and later moved to Queen’s in critical condition.

Police are looking for witnesses, including canoe paddlers observed in the area, who may have seen the incident. They ask anyone with any information about this case to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Shawn Tingle at 326-4646, extension 277, or stingle@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Officer Nahale Recognized as “Officer of the Month”

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee recognized Officer Wyattlane Nahale as “Officer of the Month” for July in a luncheon ceremony Wednesday (July 2) at Huggo’s restaurant in Kailua-Kona.

Officer Wyattlane Nahale

Officer Wyattlane Nahale

Nahale was honored for his diligence and hard work in organizing the 2014 Dare Day event on May 1 in Kailua-Kona.

Nahale, who is the School Resource Officer for Konawaena Middle school, reached out to other schools in the area to assist and teach the DARE curriculum. Approximately 1,000 students from schools in the Kona, Ka‘ū, South Kohala, North Kohala and Hāmākua Districts competed the program and attended the DARE Day celebration.

During the time Nahale organized and directed DARE Day, he continued to perform his assigned duties and effectively handled both, said Sergeant Floyd Richards.

Sergeant Richards described the DARE Day event as “a huge success,” noting that local celebrities, such as Augie “T” and Brittany Pawai participated. The event generated a front-page story in a local newspaper.

As “Officer of the Month,” Nahale is eligible to become “Officer of the Year.”

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee is an organization that encourages community involvement in aiding and supporting police in West Hawaiʻi.

2014 RIMPAC Exercises Begin – Bloggers Invited Previously

Well the ships are coming in for the 2014 RIMPAC Exercises.  I don’t have a sponsorship with Go!Airlines anymore, so if I do get selected to go on some embarks… I’ll have to be selective about the ones I get chosen for as I know I’ll be paying my own flights this time!

Here are some of the previous embarks and adventures I have gone on in the past.

I always try to get something to remember my embarks from!

I always try to get something to remember my embarks from!

Big Island Police Investigating Stun Guns Recovered From Maku’u Farmers Market

Hawaiʻi Island police recovered two electronic stun devices from a vendor at the Makuʻu Farmers Market on Sunday morning (June 29) and have initiated a criminal investigation into violations of laws specific to electric guns, possession and sale.

HPDBadgeDevices that were recovered had the appearance of a cellular phone. Police received additional information that other devices previously displayed had the appearance of a Maglight type flashlight.

Police remind the public that the possession, sale, gift or delivery of electric guns/devices is illegal under section 134-16 of the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes and is a misdemeanor offense. The definition of an “electric gun” means any portable device that is electrically operated to project a missile or electromotive force. Persons who may have purchased such a device are advised to destroy the item or turn it in to the nearest police station for recovery and destruction.

Use of an electronic gun on another person (by anyone other than a law enforcement officer in the lawful course of duties) would fall under the assault section of the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes.

Police ask anyone with information about other vendors selling similar devices to report this to the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Statement By Admiral Harry Harris Jr., On Opening of RIMPAC

Aloha! Welcome everyone to the Rim of the Pacific exercise. It’s a great day to look across Pearl Harbor and see so many international ships berthed here for RIMPAC 2014. I want to personally welcome every Sailor, Marine, Airman, Soldier and Coastguardsman from all 22 participating nations and from the six observer nations – not only here in Hawaii, but also to the joint forces operating together in Southern California. You may not realize this, but the Southern California RIMPAC phase includes more than 1,000 personnel and seven ships from nine countries.

RIMPAC Line Up

As the world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps our armed forces increase transparency and foster the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring security on the world’s oceans. Everyone standing here with me today recognizes how valuable a cooperative approach can be to sharing the workload and leveraging unique national capabilities.

Today, maritime cooperation is more vital than ever before. For centuries, the world’s oceans kept us apart, but in this increasingly globalized world, they are the pathways that bring us together.

Freedom of the seas is the minimum condition necessary for global prosperity and trade to flourish. This applies to the United States, a maritime nation and a Pacific nation, and it applies to each of the countries participating in RIMPAC.

As the world’s economic center of gravity shifts rapidly toward the Indo-Asia-Pacific, we also note the increasing risks in the region – some man-made, some natural – but all capable of disrupting stability and impacting our collective prosperity. We can all appreciate that conflict and crisis are bad for business. I think it’s important to note that by simply attending RIMPAC, every nation here is making the bold statement that we must improve multinational military cooperation despite disagreements. We can agree to disagree without being disagreeable.

Capable maritime forces enhance stability, security, prosperity and peace around the world, especially in an ocean as vast as the Pacific. The 22 nations who sent forces to RIMPAC have interests in the Pacific, and they know that this exercise will help them improve their capability to operate with each other and contribute to multilateral efforts when needed.

Mutual trust and open lines of communication are critical, but are very challenging to build. That’s why multilateral exercises like RIMPAC are so important. It helps us work together effectively in real world events like the recent search for Malaysia Airliner MH370, or in responding to the devastating typhoon that hit our friends in the Philippines last November. Friends help friends, and often, the fastest response to crisis comes from the sea.

Capable maritime forces matter to all nations.

And they matter to the United States, which is conducting a whole-of-government strategic rebalance to the Pacific. The rebalance is based on a strategy of cooperation and collaboration, and that’s why it is imperative that we work together to build trust and confidence to solve our collective maritime challenges. When great nations work together, we can accomplish great things.

Collaboration and cooperation, that’s why we are here to learn together, operate together and sail together.

There are three great ships that sail on the high seas – friendship, partnership and leadership – all three are exemplified at RIMPAC. Great leadership is also something I get every day from our U.S. Third Fleet commander, Vice Adm. Kenny Floyd, who will serve as the Combined Task Force commander during this exercise.

Adm. Harris is commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet.