Man Charged With 16 Offenses After Stealing Purse From 87-Year-Old Woman

A Hilo man has been charged with 16 offenses stemming from the theft of a purse.

Bronson I. K. Lee

Bronson I. K. Lee

The purse was stolen from an 87-year-old woman at a drug store on Puainako Street in Hilo just before 1:30 p.m. Sunday (March 22). Shortly thereafter, the victim’s credit card was used at two businesses in the vicinity.

At 2:40 p.m., police arrested the suspect, 25-year-old Bronson I. K. Lee, in the parking lot of a home improvement store on Makaʻala Street. He was taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

At 2:25 p.m. Tuesday (March 24), Lee was charged with five counts of theft, three counts of forgery, four counts of ID theft and four counts of fraudulent use of a credit card. His bail was set at $44,250.

He remains at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Wednesday (March 25).

Big Island Police Searching for 17-Year-Old Missing Since December

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for 17-year-old Kailua-Kona boy who was reported missing.

Jonah Xavier

Jonah Xavier

Jonah Xavier was last seen in Kailua-Kona on December, 2014.

He is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-2, 105 pounds with blue eyes and medium-length blond hair.

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

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hawaii Police Kill 5 Unarmed Hawaii Residents in 8 Months – Group Calls for Justice for Sheldon Haleck

Today we say NO MORE!   World Can’t Wait-Hawai`i calls on the people of Hawai`i to demand the truth about the circumstances surrounding the death of Sheldon Haleck.

JusticeWe challenge the media to vigorously investigate the actions of the HPD and to refuse to parrot police reports and attempts to vilify victims of police brutality and murder.

We challenge the people of Hawaii to stand with the victims of police brutality and create an atmosphere where families can talk openly about their loved ones, and where witnesses of police brutality can step forward to tell the truth.

justice2In the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, people across the U.S. righteously stood up against police murder and brutality, the targeting of Black and Brown people, and the lack of prosecution of the police for their crimes.

People of different races and nationalities, and from all walks of life, joined together to say, “We  Can’t Breathe,” in solidarity with those being victimized. Through many different forms of protest and resistance, the entire society was finally forced to confront this burning injustice.  Meanwhile, murder by police continues unchecked.

justice3In the last 8 months HPD has killed at least 5 unarmed Hawai`i residents.  Hawai`i has one of the highest rates of police murder and brutality in the U.S.

The epidemic of police murder and brutality must end!   NOW!

On April 14 World Can’t Wait-Hawai`i will be joining with people across the U.S. calling for a Shut Down to Stop Murder (#ShutDownA14).  Go to www.stopmassincarceration.net to connect with the growing movement against police murder, brutality and mass incarceration!”

Commentary:

15 people responded to our Call to a Vigil/Signholding in front of Iolani Palace to
Demand Justice for Sheldon Haleck.  A small memorial was set up and our signs lined King Street during rush hour.

Many commuters honked their horns; a few stopped their cars to ask what had happened; several pedestrians stopped to talk, thank us, or tell about their own experiences with police brutality.

We also heard some potentially important new information.  According to someone who was within several hundred yards of the killing but did not personally see Sheldon get tased,, Sheldon was “dragged from the street” rather than “escorted,” as the HPD report claimed, and  several people he had spoken with overheard conversations between the police immediately after Sheldon was tased saying they were “worried that the woman cop who tased Sheldon had tased him too long.”   At this point facts are still sketchy, but while we held signs we couldn’t help but note that there were a number of surveillance cameras in the vicinity that might hold important information.

A Press Release was sent to members of Hawai`i’s media; only Channel 9 came out.  The photographer took a lot of pictures, but we haven’t seen any coverage.

World Can’t Wait Hawaii

 

Groundbreaking Ceremony Begins Construction For New Hilo International Airport Aircraft Rescue & Firefighting Station

The state Department of Transportation (HDOT), Airports Division, celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony today for the new Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) station at the Hilo International Airport.

ito fire department 2

The new two-story, 21,000 square-foot facility will include four drive-through truck bays, a fueling area, new training facilities, along with improved work and living quarters for firefighters.

“Our crews here at the Hilo ARFF station provide very specialized Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting responses that are unique to the airport setting,” said Ross Higashi, Deputy Director of the Airports Division. “Each of these improvements will supply our firefighters with the facilities they need to train and carry out operations.”

ITO Fire department

Nearly 87-percent of the $18.8 million total was provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  State funds covered the remaining $3 million. The new station will be fully compliant with FAA requirements and is anticipated to be completed by June 2016.

“The safety of our air travelers is always one of our highest priorities,” said Governor David Ige. “Each of these improvements will help to keep our firefighters better trained, better equipped and ready to respond when the need arises. We look forward to the work being completed on time.”

Shark Attack at Hapuna Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii

A Kansas man suffered a shark attack Wednesday (March 18) at Hapuna Beach Park.

Hapuna Beach

Hapuna Beach

In response to an 11:46 a.m. call, South Kohala officers responded to Hapuna Beach and learned that a 58-year-old man from Overland Park, Kansas, had been snorkeling with family at the south point of the beach when a shark bit him on the arm.

He was assisted to shore and taken to North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital, where he was treated for severe lacerations to his left forearm and injury to his left thigh.

Swimmers were evacuated from the waters.

Hawaii County Ordered to Suspend Drug Tests for Employees

Constitution protects government employees from such invasive medical examinations

The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai’i and the law firm of Peiffer Rosca Wolf Abdullah Kane & Carr sued Hawai’i County in federal court on Monday, March 9 on behalf of Rebekah Taylor-Failor, a Kailua-Kona woman who is about to begin working for the County.

After giving her a conditional job offer, the County required her, as it requires all its prospective employees, to submit to a urinalysis and an invasive medical examination.
Piss TestShe asked the Court to allow her to start working (as a Legal Clerk II – a typical desk job) without submitting to a urinalysis; on Friday, March 13, the Court granted that request, ruling that “the urinalysis would violate Taylor-Failor’s Fourth Amendment rights[.]”

Until now, the County of Hawai’i required its prospective employees to submit a urine sample, which the County would subject to analysis that could reveal sensitive private medical information – such as whether an individual is diabetic or has a urinary tract infection – regardless of the physical duties the applicant would perform on the job.  The ACLU of Hawai’i and co-counsel Adam Wolf asked the Court for a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent the County from obtaining this private information from Ms. Taylor-Failor’s bodily fluids, citing constitutional protections from suspicionless searches.

In an attempt to avoid litigation, the ACLU of Hawaii reached out to the Hawaii County Department of Corporation Counsel in 2013, explaining that the County’s policies and procedures were unconstitutional; the County responded – incorrectly – that its policies were valid.  But siding against the County, the Court ruled in its order that “the County has proffered no explanation as to why it is entitled to search Taylor-Failor’s urine before she may begin employment in her light duty, clerical, non-safety-sensitive position….  Employment requirements cannot stand where they violate rights of a constitutional dimension.”

Mr. Wolf said, “The Constitution protects government employees from such invasive medical examinations.  The County of Hawai’i has no need to demand that its clerks reveal whether they have a urinary tract infection or diabetes.  Today’s ruling is a historic step toward reforming pre-employment medical tests so that they comply with the constitution.”

Rebekah Taylor-Failor said, “I’m eager to start working for the County, and I’m glad that the Court is allowing me to do so without having to sacrifice my constitutional rights.”

ACLU of Hawai’i Legal Director Daniel Gluck said, “We are glad the Court has recognized that the government does not need to perform invasive searches of bodily fluids to determine whether an office worker can perform her job.  Medical data is some of our most privately held information, and it is critical that we protect it from government overreach.”

The mission of the Hawai’i affiliate of the ACLU is to protect the civil liberties contained in the state and federal constitutions through litigation, legislative and public education programs statewide. The ACLU is funded primarily through private donations and offers its services at no cost to the public. The ACLU does not accept any government funds.

Lava Tube Mapped Further – Flow Continues to Make its Way to the Front

This map shows the active lava tube system that has been mapped from Pu’u O’o vent down to Kaohe Homestead area of Puna.

The yellow line represents the active tube.  (Click to enlarge)

The yellow line represents the active tube. (Click to enlarge)

The flow travels at a faster pace underground then it does on the surface.

Today’s Hawaii County Civil Defense reported:

This is an eruption and lava flow information update for Tuesday March 10th at 8:00 AM.

Surface activity and activity along both margins extending from the west or just above the stalled flow fronts to the summit area continues with numerous small breakouts. The surface breakouts along the length of the flow pad continues to provide an indication that the tube system is being supplied and lava from the source is making its way to the down slope areas.

Full Civil Defense report here: Tuesday 3/10/2015

New Maps Released of Puna Lava Flow – Advances and Widens

This large-scale map uses a satellite image acquired in March 2014 (provided by Digital Globe) as a base to show the area around the front of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow.

Map of distal flow field. (Click to enlarge)

Map of distal flow field. (Click to enlarge)

The area of the flow on February 27 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of March 10 is shown in red.

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. (see large map)

This map overlays a georegistered mosaic of thermal images collected during a helicopter overflight of the distal part of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow on March 10 at about 10:35 AM.

Map of distal flow field with thermal overlay.  (Click to enlarge)

Map of distal flow field with thermal overlay. (Click to enlarge)

The base image is a satellite image acquired in March 2014 (provided by Digital Globe). The perimeter of the flow at the time the imagery was acquired is outlined in yellow. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas (white areas are active breakouts).

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. (see large map)

This map overlays a georegistered mosaic of thermal images collected during a helicopter overflight of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow west of Kaohe Homesteads on March 10 at about 10:30 AM.

Map of flow field west of Kaohe Homesteads with thermal overlay.  (Click to enlarge)

Map of flow field west of Kaohe Homesteads with thermal overlay. (Click to enlarge)

The perimeter of the flow at the time the imagery was acquired is outlined in yellow. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas (white areas are active breakouts). (see large map)

This map overlays georegistered mosaics of thermal images collected during a helicopter overflight of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow near Puʻu ʻŌʻō on March 10 at about 10:25 AM.

Map of proximal flow field with thermal overlays.  (Click to enlarge)

Map of proximal flow field with thermal overlays. (Click to enlarge)

The perimeter of the flow at the time the imagery was acquired is outlined in yellow. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas (white areas are active breakouts). (see large map)

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow in relation to lower Puna.

Small-scale map of flow field.  (Click to enlarge)

Small-scale map of flow field. (Click to enlarge)

The area of the flow on February 27 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of March 10 is shown in red.

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. All older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the active lava tube (see large map)

Puna Lava Flow Creeps Towards Pahoa – Flow Still Advancing

The June 27 Lava Flow remains very active and has advanced over 240 yards in the last few days.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

There were two breakouts from the upper tube system on and at the foot of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Cone (right center). The largest and most active was the breakout nearest Puʻu Kahaualeʻa in the left center of the photograph.

Closeup of the new breakout near Puʻu Kahaualeʻa.  Click to enlarge

Closeup of the new breakout near Puʻu Kahaualeʻa. Click to enlarge

The leading edge of the lobe nearest Pahoa Marketplace is still stalled but, for the past few days, a new breakout has been advancing along its southern margin and is approaching the Apaʻa St. firebreak.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Several breakouts were active upslope of the stalled front. This breakout issued from an inflated tumulus along the north margin of the June 27th flow.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The thin crust over the lava lake within the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook crater was moving slowly to the southeast.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

During the USGS overflight, there was no spattering and wispy gas emissions allowed clear views.

Paniolo Power Files Motion to Consolidate Merger, PSIP Dockets

Paniolo Power Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Parker Ranch, Inc., filed a motion today to merge two of the most important cases currently before the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission into one docket—the Hawaiian Electric Companies’ (HECO)-NextEra acquisition and the HECO clean energy plan.

Paniolo Power Company

The Change of Control docket addresses NextEra Energy, Inc.’s proposed acquisition of the HECO Companies. The PSIP docket addresses HECO’s long-term clean energy strategy and transition plan.

“The issues in both the Change of Control and the PSIP dockets are inextricably linked,” said Jose Dizon, General Manager of Paniolo Power. “HECO’s lack of focus on customer value has led it to continue to use oil-fired power plants, with the associated high fuel prices that are passed on to the ratepayers.”

Understanding the destructive effects of fuel volatility, Dizon added, the PUC in April 2014 issued harsh guidance to the Hawaiian Electric Companies to accelerate power plant retirements and aggressively pursue clean energy sources.

Continue reading

Early Morning Photo Shows Lava Flow Still Creeping Towards Pahoa

Yesterday’s Hawaii County Civil Defense reported, “The small breakout along the south margin of the flow to the west or upslope of the stalled front remains active and has advanced approximately 200 yards since yesterday morning.

Pahoa at the top left of this picture about 0.8 miles away.

Pahoa at the top left of this picture about 0.8 miles away.

The leading edge of this breakout is approximately .8 miles to the west or mauka and upslope of Highway 130.”

You can view the time stamp on the picture by clicking on it.

You can view the time stamp on the picture by clicking on it.

The USGS pictures tonight confirms that the lava flow is active behind the Pahoa Marketplace and appears to be advancing.

How Does a Blind Person Sail From New Mexico to Hawaii?

Editors Note… I don’t know how ANYONE  sails from New Mexico to Hawaii… but I guess our Police Department has figured that one out… New Mexico is landlocked!

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee recognized Officer Marlin Hopson as “Officer of the Month” for March in a luncheon ceremony Wednesday (March 4) at Huggo’s restaurant in Kailua-Kona.

Officer Marlin Hopson

Officer Marlin Hopson

Hopson was honored for providing assistance beyond the call of duty to two shipwrecked persons.

On May 18, 2014, Officer Hopson responded to a report that a 45-foot sailboat had run aground at the Old Airport Beach Park. The couple on the boat had sailed from New Mexico to Hawaiʻi. The owner, who is blind, lost his navigation aids on the way to Honokohau Harbor, causing the boat to run ashore at night. The pair managed to swim to shore but their belongings were left behind and couldn’t be retrieved because of darkness and rough surf.

Hopson invited the couple to spend that night in his home and they accepted.

“Officer Hopson exemplified the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s core values of compassion and community satisfaction, going above and beyond to help these victims, said Sergeant Akira Edmoundson, who nominated Hopson for the honor.

As “Officer of the Month,” Hopson 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.

New Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist-In-Charge

The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Christina (Tina) Neal to serve as the new Scientist-in-Charge of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Neal succeeds Jim Kauahikaua, who served in the position for the past ten years.

Christina Neal, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Christina Neal, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

It is a fitting coincidence that Neal, only the second woman to lead USGS HVO in its 103-year-long history, takes the helm on March 8, International Women’s Day, a day established to celebrate the achievements of women around the world.

“Tina brings to the HVO Scientist-in-Charge position the required breadth of scientific background, strong communication skills, and eruption response experience, including much work with various communities at risk. I was thrilled when she accepted the position, because I knew that both HVO and the communities that it serves will be in good hands going forward,” said Tom Murray, Director of the USGS Volcano Science Center, which oversees all five U.S. volcano observatories.

Neal comes to Hawai‘i from Alaska, where she spent almost 25 years working as a USGS geologist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory. After so many years in the land of the midnight sun, swapping snowshoes for ‘slippahs’ (flip-flops) might seem a drastic change, but she’s no stranger to the aloha state—or HVO.

From 1983 to 1989, Neal lived in Volcano, and worked on the staff at HVO.  Her work included monitoring Kīlauea Volcano during the early years of its ongoing East Rift Zone eruption, as well as Mauna Loa during its 1984 eruption. She fondly recalls one day in March 1984, when she spent the morning working atop the erupting Mauna Loa and the afternoon collecting lava samples from the active Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent on Kīlauea.  For a volcanologist, simultaneous eruptions on two volcanoes made for an unforgettable workday.

As part of the Big Island Mapping Project, Neal mapped the summit of Kīlauea, resulting in the USGS publication “Geologic Map of the Summit Region of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaii.” She also mapped Kīlauea’s Southwest Rift Zone for the “Geologic Map of the Island of Hawai‘i.”

In 1990, Neal moved to Alaska to work at the newly-created AVO in Anchorage.  There, she monitored and studied a number of Alaskan volcanoes and their eruptions, including Redoubt (1989–1990 and 2009), Mount Spurr (1992), Augustine (2005–2006), and Okmok (2008). Working on remote Alaskan stratovolcanoes is not for the faint-hearted—the steep-sided, glacier-covered volcanic mountains are hazardous even when not erupting—a tip-off to the mettle of which Neal is made.

In 1998, Neal accepted a two-year assignment in Washington, D.C., as the first USGS geoscience advisor to the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, within the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is responsible for coordinating U.S. government responses to disasters overseas. Her travels during this assignment took her to Thailand, Nepal, Ecuador, Colombia, Kazakhstan, and other foreign countries, where she reviewed or assisted with the implementation of hazard mitigation programs.

When Neal returned to AVO in 2000, she resumed her work as a geologist—mapping and studying active Alaskan volcanoes. With colleagues, she strengthened the Alaska-based interagency response system for volcanic eruptions and coordinated AVO’s eruption monitoring and crisis response efforts with Russian volcanology counterparts. She is also internationally recognized for her efforts to reduce the risk of volcanic ash to aviation in the North Pacific and globally.

In addition to outstanding geologic work, Neal honed her managerial skills during two details as Chief of Staff and Deputy Regional Director for the USGS Western Regional Office in 2009–2010 and as Acting Scientist-in-Charge at AVO in 2010.

Over the years, Neal has maintained ties to HVO.  In 2012, she helped with HVO’s 100th Anniversary Open House, and in October 2014, she spent two weeks at HVO assisting with monitoring efforts and community meetings as Kīlauea’s active lava flow moved toward Pāhoa.

Quarantine Restrictions Extended to All Coffee Grown on Oahu

The Hawaii Board of Agriculture (HBOA) voted Wednesday to place coffee grown on all areas of Oahu under the same quarantine restrictions as was issued earlier for the Waialua area on Oahu and Hawaii Island to prevent the spread of the coffee berry borer (CBB).

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

On Dec. 17, 2014, HBOA placed coffee grown at Waialua Estate Coffee Farms and coffee roasted at the Old Waialua Sugar Mill under the same quarantine restrictions as coffee grown on Hawaii Island due to the detection of CBB infestations at the sites. Since the initial detections in Waialua, CBB has been found in Wahiawa and Poamoho in Central Oahu.

Today, the board voted unanimously to expand the designated infested area and extend the interisland quarantine restrictions to all of Oahu beginning tomorrow, Feb. 25, 2015.

“Expanding the coffee quarantine safeguards to cover Oahu is an important step in helping to keep other coffee-growing islands free of the coffee berry borer,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the HBOA. “Oahu is a hub for the state’s coffee trade and we need to make sure that coffee beans that are imported to, as well as exported from Oahu are not spreading this destructive pest.”

So far, CBB has not been detected on Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Lanai.

The quarantine restrictions imposed today for Oahu are exactly the same as those which have been in effect for coffee from Hawaii Island since December 2010. It requires a permit from HDOA to transport unroasted coffee beans, coffee plants and plant parts, used coffee bags and coffee harvesting equipment from CBB-infested islands to other non-infested areas or islands to prevent CBB movement. The rules also require certain treatments and inspection by HDOA Plant Quarantine inspectors prior to shipping. Inspectors will either attach a tag, label or stamp to indicate the shipment passed inspection requirements. For unroasted coffee beans, acceptable treatment protocols include fumigation, freezing and heat treatment. The coffee beans must also be roasted at a facility that is at least five miles from any commercial coffee-growing area.

One of the most devastating coffee pests, CBB was first detected in the state in September 2010 in Kona and discovered in Ka`u in May 2011. In early December 2014, HDOA confirmed the presence of the CBB (Hypothenemus hampei) on the coffee farm in Waialua, Oahu. This small beetle bores into the coffee “cherry” to lay its eggs. The larvae feed on the coffee bean, reducing the yield and quality of the bean. CBB is native to Central Africa and is also found in many coffee-growing regions of the world, including Central and South America.

Since its detection in Kona in 2010, Big Island coffee growers have developed methods to manage the pest, which include using an organic pesticide and field sanitation practices. Some farms with good management practices have been able to keep infestations down to about 20 percent of the coffee crop.

For more information on CBB in Hawaii, go to HDOA’s CBB information page at: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/ppc/cbbinfo/

Hawaii Electric Light Company Selects Ormat to Provide Additional Geothermal Energy

Following a rigorous review of bids submitted as part of a competitive bid process, Hawai‘i Electric Light Company has selected Ormat to provide an additional 25 MW of geothermal energy for Hawai‘i Island.

Puna Geothermal Venture

Puna Geothermal Venture

The next step in the process is to begin contract negotiations with Ormat, with an agreement to be submitted to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for approval.

“We have continued to pursue ways to increase our use of renewable energy and lower costs to our customers, while also ensuring reliable service,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawai‘i Electric Light Company president. “Ormat was selected based on numerous criteria, including attractive pricing, technical design and capability, financial soundness, as well as commitment to resolving all environmental issues and to working with our Hawai‘i Island communities.”

Geothermal technologies provide renewable, controlled dispatchable energy and firm capacity that allow Hawai‘i Electric Light to schedule and control output from the geothermal plant to its island-wide grid.

Firm energy sources like geothermal support the integration of intermittent renewable resources, such as wind or solar, while maintaining reliable service for Hawai‘i Island customers.

A draft Geothermal RFP was issued in early November 2012. The PUC also selected an Independent Observer, Boston Pacific Company, to monitor and advise on all steps of the competitive bidding process to ensure that the process is fair and adheres to the PUC Framework for Competitive Bidding.

More than 47 percent of electricity on Hawai‘i Island is already generated from renewable resources, including hydro, wind, distributed solar and geothermal.

Puna Lava Flow Reaches Fire Break

Breakouts persist upslope of stalled flow front; new breakout at Puʻu ʻŌʻō

22315pic1The leading tip of the June 27th lava flow remains stalled, but breakouts persist upslope of the stalled tip. Today, one of these breakouts (marked by the arrow) had advanced a short distance towards the north, reaching one of the fire break roads.

This comparison of a normal photograph and a thermal image shows the position of active breakouts relative to the inactive flow tip.

22315pic2

The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image on the right. In the thermal image, active breakouts are visible as white and yellow areas. Although active breakouts are absent at the inactive tip of the flow, breakouts are present roughly 450 m (490 yards) behind the tip, and are also scattered further upslope.

New breakout at Puʻu ʻŌʻō 22315pic3

This photograph looks east, and shows the breakout on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō that began over the weekend. The breakout, visible as the lighter colored region in the center of the photograph, occurred from the area of the June 27th vent (upper right portion of photograph).

22315pic4A small lobe of pāhoehoe on the new breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.22315pic5A closer look at some of the activity on the new breakout on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

DLNR Arrests Guide For Illegal Lava Tour Trespass On State Land

State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officers last night arrested a tour guide involved in conducting illegal commercial tours within the Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve.  The Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve has been closed by DLNR due to hazardous conditions related to ongoing volcanic activity in the area.  

Joel D. Scharer works at Ahui Tour Company.

Joel D. Scharer works at Ahiu Tour Company.

An investigation conducted by DOCARE officers resulted in their arrest of Joel D. Scharer, Jr., age 24, of Hilo.  The investigation revealed that Scharer was a tour guide who had led a tour into the closed natural area reserve.  Scharer was transported to the Hilo Police Station for booking.  He is being charged with the following:  criminal trespass in the 2nd degree which is a petty misdemeanor, and reckless endangering in the 2nd degree, prohibited entry into a Natural area reserve and illegal commercial activities within the natural area reserve, all of which are misdemeanor offenses.  

“The safety of the public remains our top priority,” said Carty S. Chang, Interim DLNR Chairperson.   “Illegal commercial tours into areas closed by volcanic activity are dangerous to both the public as well as rescue responders. Violators will face citation or arrest,” Chang added.  

To report suspected trespass or illegal commercial activity within the closed Kahaualea NAR as well as the closed Wao Kele O Puna Forest Reserve call DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) at 643-DLNR.

Pahoa Lava Flow Community Meetings Suspended Until Further Notice

Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira announced the regularly scheduled Pahoa lava flow community update meetings are being suspended until further notice.

Pahoa Community Meeting on the Puna Park

“We appreciate the excellent turnout and response from the community at each of these meetings, which the county first began holding last August,” said Chief Oliveira. “We expect we will need to call additional meetings in the weeks and months ahead, but right now we want to give the community and our volunteers a break during this period while the active lava flows are some distance from populated communities.”

Chief Oliveira thanked residents for their understanding and cooperation, and said the county will resume the community meetings when additional briefings are necessary to keep the public informed.

For the latest Civil Defense message, go to http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/. For more information, contact Hawai‘i County Civil Defense at (808) 935-0031.

Bill Introduced to Curb Domestic Violence by Law Enforcement Officers

Vice Speaker John M. Mizuno introduced HB1199 which requires law enforcement agencies to adopt and implement a written policy on domestic violence committed or allegedly committed by law enforcement officers.

capital

The bill also requires standards to be adopted as well as training deadlines, administrative procedures and reporting requirements. The bill requires public and private non-profit domestic violence advocates to be consulted when adopting policies.

“A victim of domestic violence is placed in an especially precarious position if her abuser happens to be a law enforcement officer” said Mizuno. “It is imperative that strong policies, procedures and training are in place so that incidents such as the recent indictment of a police officer for assault on his girlfriend can hopefully be prevented in the future.  If officers receive the proper training and clearly understand the agency’s policies and potential consequences regarding domestic violence we should be able to lower incidences by law enforcement officers in the future.”

Men Get Lost Trying to View Lava – Fire Department Helicopter Saves the Day

Two male newcomers to the Big Island got lost in a heavily forested area of the Big Island in what appears to be an attempt to see the lava flow.

Hawaii Fire Department reports that the party was lost on their way coming out of the “pristine rainforest” Thursday, January 29, 2015.  On the way out of the forest they couldn’t find the trail they came in and called a friend on their cell phones to report that they were lost.

They stayed overnight in the forest and Hawaii County Fire Department’s Chopper One assisted in rescuing them this morning.

Here is the Fire Departments incident report:

Stupid Lava Hikers