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“State of Aerospace” in Hawaii – Opportunity for a New Industry Growth

The State legislature has indicated interest in growth in the aerospace industry of Hawaii as a means of diversifying the economic risk within the State beyond tourism, service industries and military.
AerospaceClick here to register

Hawaii County Charges Skateboarders Extra to Use Pahoa-Pohoiki-Hilo Route

Does anyone know why the county charges skateboarders an extra dollar to use the buses that run the Pahoa-Pohoiki-Hilo route but NOT ON ANY OTHER ROUTES?

hele on pahoa bus
I’m not quite sure why I can bring a briefcase on the bus… but skateboarders can’t bring boards on the bus?
Skateboard pahoa

Section of Cemetery Road Covered by Lava to Be Restored

The Hawai‘i County Department of Public Works will begin work on restoring the functionality of Cemetery Road on Monday October 5, 2015.

Lava crosses Cemetery Rd.   Photo by Bobby Jean Leithead Todd

Lava crosses Cemetery Rd. Photo by Bobby Jean Leithead Todd

On October 25, 2014 lava associated with the Pu‘u O‘o Volcanic Eruption crossed onto Cemetery Road that extends from Apa‘a Street near the Pāhoa Transfer Station.  After assessing ingress and egress for the area, including the Ka‘ohe Homesteads, restoring the functionality of Cemetery Road is in the best interests of public safety.

Reconstruction work involves removing the new lava to original grades and then paving the 500-foot stretch of roadway.   The project is expected to take approximately forty (40) working days to complete, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Seventy five (75) percent of the $150,000 project cost will be funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Motorists are advised to use caution as heavy trucks and equipment will be utilizing Cemetery Road and Apa‘a Street.  Cemetery Road will be closed as a though street for the duration of this restoration project.

Hawai‘i County Department of Public Works thanks the community for their cooperation in keeping the construction area clear and roadways free from potential traffic and safety problems.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Hawaii Wins $53.1 Million Settlement Against Online Travel Companies

The State of Hawaii has recovered $53.1 million in general excise taxes, penalties and interest from online travel companies (the “companies”) including Travelocity.Com, LLP, Expedia, Inc., Orbitz, LLC, and Priceline.Com, LLP from tax litigation that began in 2011.

Attorney General Clip

Attorney General Doug Chin said “Online travel companies derive substantial profits from the sale of hotel rooms, rental cars a nd other services in Hawaii. The importance of the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling is the precedent it establishes. People or companies who provide goods and services through the Internet that are used or consumed in Hawaii are subject to Hawaii taxation, despite being domiciled in other states.”

The Tax Appeal Court previously ruled that the companies owed general excise taxes but not the State’s transient accommodations tax that is assessed on operators of transient accommodations, like hotels. The State and the companies appealed to the Hawaii Supreme Court from these rulings.

On March 17, 2015, the Hawaii Supreme Court upheld the Tax Appeal Court’s ruling that the companies are subject to Hawaii’s general excise tax, but concluded that they are taxable only on their net receipts from the sale of hotel rooms in Hawaii, not their gross receipts. The Court ruled that the companies receive the benefit of an income splitting provision that applies to travel agents in chapter 237, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

The Court rejected the companies’ argument that they were not doing business in Hawaii. The Court stated in its opinion, “the [companies] are not passive sellers of services to Hawai‘i consumers. The [companies] actively solicit customers for Hawai‘i hotel rooms and actively solicit hotels to contractually provide the right to sell on their website the right of occupancy of hotel rooms.”

The Court remanded the case to the Tax Appeal Courtto re-determine the amount of general excise taxes, penalties and interest the companies owe to the State of Hawaii. On September 22, 2015, the Tax Appeal Court entered final stipulated judgments setting forth the amounts owed by the companies and the amounts that the State needed to refund from the State’s litigated claims fund.

Litigation against the companies for their other State tax obligations for their other business activities in Hawaii during the period 2000 through 2013 is continuing.

Department of Health Cites Ken’s Towing for Vehicle Salvage and Solid Waste Inspection Violations

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has filed a Notice of Violation and Order against Ken’s Towing Service, Inc. The violations occurred at 55 Kukila Street in Hilo, Hawaii (TMK 2-2-058:027 and 2-2-047:061) and involved the operation of an unpermitted vehicle salvage facility and the obstruction of a DOH inspection.


Ken’s Towing Service, Inc. was previously operating under a solid waste management permit that expired in February 2012. DOH conducted an inspection of the facility on Mar. 13, 2013 and found approximately 40 junk vehicles, at least five cubic yards of scrap metal, at least 100 scrap tires, and approximately 3 pallets of shrink wrapped lead acid batteries.

The company submitted a permit application in June 2013, but the department was unable to issue the permit as the facility neglected to finish the permit process and the application remains incomplete. On Oct. 20, 2014, DOH attempted an inspection of the facility and was denied entry.

Based on these findings and events, DOH has imposed a penalty of $7,500, and ordered the facility to remove all solid waste and close the unpermitted salvage operation. Ken’s Towing Service, Inc. may request a hearing to contest the allegations or order.

The DOH, Solid Waste Section regulates standards governing the design, construction, installation, operation, and maintenance of solid waste disposal, recycling, reclamation, and transfer systems. Such standards are intended to prevent pollution of the drinking water supply or waters of the state; prevent air pollution; prevent the spread of disease and the creation of nuisances; protect public health and safety; conserve natural resources; and preserve and enhance the beauty and quality of the environment.

27-Year-Old Dies in Two-Vehicle Collision

A 27-year-old Laupāhoehoe man died Saturday (August 15, 2015) from injuries he received in a two-vehicle collision on Route 19 (Hawaii Belt Road) in the area of the 9-mile-marker.

Daven Dolan

Daven Dolan

The man was identified as Daven Dolan of a Laupāhoehoe address.

Responding to a 4:11 a.m. call, South Hilo Patrol officers determined that Dolan was operating a 2006 Lexus four-sedan and traveling north on Route 19 when he crossed the centerline and collided with a 2008 GMC Master delivery truck traveling south.

The driver of the GMC truck, a 37-year-old man from Hilo, was transported to the Hilo Medical Center by Fire Rescue personnel and later flown to The Queen’s Medical Center for further treatment.

Dolan was also transported to the Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 6:40 a.m.

Police believe that alcohol may be a contributing factor in this crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide case and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information regarding this collision is asked to call Officer Casey Cabral at 961-8889.

This is the 15th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared to 8 at the same time last year.

26-Year-Old Arrested in Kona Collision that Resulted in Fatality

A 52-year-old Kailua-Kona man died following a two-vehicle collision east of the intersection of Kaiminani Drive and Laui Street in the early morning hours of Monday (August 3) in Kailua-Kona.

He has been positively identified as Robert N. Weinstock.

Responding to a 12:41 a.m. call, police determined that a green 2007 Ford pickup truck was traveling west on Kaiminani Drive before the Laui Street intersection when it crossed the centerline of the roadway and crashed head-on into a 2003 Nissan sports-utility vehicle being driven by Weinstock.

Both drivers were taken to Kona Community Hospital, where Weinstock was officially pronounced dead at 1:29 a.m. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Justin Rohan

Justin Rohan

The driver of the Ford pickup, 26-year-old Justin Rohan of Kailua-Kona, was arrested on suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant. He was released pending further investigation while being treated for his injuries at Kona Community Hospital.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide investigation and is asking anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Justin Hooser or Sergeant Bradley Freitas at 326-4646, Ext. 229.

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

This is the 14th traffic related fatality this year compared with eight at this time last year.

Kaiminani Drive, which had been closed to traffic for several hours, was reopened shortly after noon.

Hawaiian Electric Companies Propose New Electronic Vehicle Charging Rates

The Hawaiian Electric Companies have asked the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to approve discount electric vehicle charging rates in a new time-of-use program.

The new rates aim to promote plug-in electric vehicle use by offering simpler terms and sign-up procedures compared to the existing EV discount charging pilot and to foster more use of excess electricity generated by rooftop solar systems during the middle of the day.

Hawaiian Electric is recommending that customers enrolled in the present EV time-of-use pilot program have the option to continue at their existing rates when the current pilot expires at the end of September, 2015.

“EV numbers continue to increase and automakers are bringing more advanced plug-in electric vehicles to market. And with over 70,000 customers statewide who have or will soon have rooftop solar, we see increasing amounts of excess solar electricity available at mid-day,” said Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president for customer service.

“The proposed new rates will help make greater use of that solar electricity and accelerate EV adoption in Hawaii,” Alberts said.

In addition to upgraded discount charging rates, the Hawaiian Electric Companies are installing up to 25 DC fast chargers across Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii Island to alleviate EV drivers’ “range anxiety” and working with stakeholders on other endeavors as new ideas and technologies enter the market.

The proposed rates will have only two time-of-use schedules over 24 hours instead of three. Charging an EV at home using electricity from the grid will be most expensive during peak electricity demand from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. All other hours will be at the less expensive off-peak rate. EV owners may still choose to add a separate meter just for EV charging or keep a single meter for all household and charging use.

Signing up for EV rates will also be simpler. Customers need only certify ownership of a plug-in electric vehicle. As with the discount charging pilot in place for the last five years, customers on Hawaii Island, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Oahu would be eligible to participate, upon PUC approval.

For commercial customers, the proposed new EV rates will waive “demand charges” during off-peak periods and eliminate demand charge minimums. This will make it less expensive for commercial customers who wish to provide charging for EV fleets or their customers with EVs.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies are asking the PUC to approve this proposal by the end of September when the present pilot ends. The companies suggest the new program last until June 30, 2020, when all EV rates would be re-considered for the future.

The new rate is designed to provide more off-peak hours for home EV charging with a 6.1¢ per kWh savings for a typical residential customer on Oahu. By charging off-peak, that driver is estimated to save half the cost to “fuel” an electric vehicle (compared to a mid-sized gasoline-fueled sedan) by buying no gasoline but paying a slightly higher monthly electric bill. The proposed per kWh savings for off-peak EV charging for a typical residential customer on Hawaii Island is 9.2¢; on Maui is 7.3¢; on Lanai is 7.1¢; and on Molokai is 9.4¢.

Here are comparative sample driving costs under the proposed rates based on Oahu electricity and gasoline costs:

energy costs

Dalai Lama and Nainoa Thompson Discuss Education and Universal Human Values

Nainoa Thompson, pwo (master) navigator and president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, today joined a panel discussion with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in celebration of His Holiness’s 80th birthday. The topic of discussion for the panel of inspiring leaders was The Significance of Education in Advancing Universal Human Values.

Dalai Lama and Nainoa

“I was honored and humbled to be invited to speak with His Holiness, one of my heroes and a true inspiration for our work aboard Hokulea as we travel around the world,” said Thompson. “We came together to celebrate his legacy of peace, kindness and universal compassion, and the true gift for his 80th birthday was the lesson he has offered all of us.”

Thompson acknowledged His Holiness as one of Earth’s greatest navigators and offered a gift of traditional Hawaiian oli (chant) by apprentice navigator Lehua Kamalu.  Thompson then presented him with a maile lei he had carried from the Hawaiian islands.

The event was the final session of His Holiness’s three-day Global Compassion Summit at University of California, Irvine’s Bren Center on Tuesday, July 7 and took place at 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Thompson was one of 15 distinguished panelists to participate in the conversation.

The Dalai Lama blessed the Hokulea at Kualoa Park last year.  Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

The Dalai Lama blessed the Hokulea at Kualoa Park last year. Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

Thompson’s visit to the Global Compassion Summit marked a truly global moment for the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Worldwide Voyage today. Legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea is scheduled to arrive at Darwin, Australia, while sister canoe Hikianalia today returns home to Honolulu after a fruitful trip to the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument with NOAA researchers and crew from The Nature Conservancy.

The Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage is taking the iconic sailing vessels Hokulea and her sister canoe Hikianalia across Hawaii and the Earth’s oceans to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world.

The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, began in Hawaiʻi in 2013 and will cover over 60,000 nautical miles, 100 ports, and 27 nations, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites, through June 2017. The voyage seeks to engage all of Island Earth – practicing how to live sustainably while sharing Polynesian culture, learning from the past and from each other, creating global relationships, and discovering the wonders of the precious place we call home.

Two Million Provided for Hawaii Bikeshare Program Seed Funding

Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Hawaii State Department of Health Director Virginia Pressler, M.D. today signed a contract providing matching funds for Bikeshare Hawai‘i.

Bike ShareUnder the agreement, the City and State will each provide $1 million in seed funding to assist the nonprofit Bikeshare Hawaii in building its large-scale bicycling infrastructure system, which is set to launch next year.

“We’re proud to support this important transportation public-private partnership between the City, State, and Bikeshare Hawaii,” said Mayor Caldwell. “This expansion of Honolulu’s bicycling infrastructure will be a game-changer in giving residents and visitors options to avoid traffic, help the environment, and have fun.”

bike share signing

“The Department of Health is thrilled to partner with the City and County on this important initiative that puts bikeshare within the reach of Hawaii’s residents and visitors,” said Director Pressler. “Having access to active transportation modes like bikeshare makes it easier for us to meet out daily physical activity needs, ultimately helping to reduce obesity and chronic disease to improve the health and well-being of our community.”

Bikeshare Hawaii will be a low-cost, flexible public transportation system that provides on-demand access to a network of publically-rentable bicycles at strategic locations. Approximately 1,700 bikes will be available at stations throughout urban Honolulu during the initial rollout. Upon completion of Honolulu’s rail project, bikeshare stations will provide first/last mile connectivity to rail and TheBus stations, facilitating the use of public transportation. Bikeshare will eventually expand the system statewide as demand increases.

Bikeshare systems have been proven to expand mobility options, create new bicyclists, and reduce automobile use. Bikeshare systems also promote healthier cities, active lifestyles, reduced vehicle emissions, and reliance on imported fossil fuel.

More information: http://www.bikesharehawaii.org/

Five Injured in Three-Vehicle Crash on Hawaii Belt Road

Five people were injured—one critically—in a three-vehicle crash Friday (June 19) on the Hawaiʻi Belt Road (Highway 19) at Maulua Gulch along the Hāmākua Coast.

Malua GulchResponding to a 9:14 a.m. call, police learned that a 2003 Toyota pickup truck traveling south near the 23-mile marker crossed the centerline and sideswiped a 2008 Peterbuilt tractor-trailer traveling north. The tractor-trailer lost control and crossed the centerline, colliding with a 2003 Chevrolet four-door sedan traveling south.

All occupants of the three vehicles were taken to Hilo Medical Center.

The driver of the pickup truck, a 40-year-old Hilo woman, was treated and released for minor injuries.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, a 49-year-old Hilo man, and his passenger, an 11-year-old Hilo boy, were treated for their injuries and released.

The passenger in the sedan, a 24-year-old Laupāhoehoe woman, was treated for her injuries and released. The sedan’s driver, a 23-year-old Laupāhoehoe man, was transferred to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu in critical condition.

Traffic Enforcement Unit investigators have initiated a negligent injury case and are continuing the investigation. It is unknown at this time if speed, alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash.

Hawaiʻi Belt Highway was closed in both directions for more than two hours. Traffic was then allowed to take turns using one lane until the road was reopened to all traffic at approximately 3:40 p.m.

Police ask anyone who may have witnessed the crash to call Officer Clarence Acob at 961-2293.

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

Department of Transportation Settles Hawaii Drivers License Lawsuit

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) and Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE), a non-profit organization, jointly announce that the parties settled a lawsuit yesterday regarding the translation of driver’s examinations required for Hawaii residents to obtain a license.

Hawaii Drivers License Sample

FACE filed a lawsuit in federal court in September 2013, alleging HDOT discriminated against foreign-born residents of Hawai’i by not offering a translated exam for a period of more than five years after previously existing translations were removed from service when additional questions needed to be added to the exam.

Throughout the case, and even with the settlement, HDOT disputed that there was any discriminatory motive involved in decision-making about the translated exams. “HDOT and our employees have always been committed to serving all of Hawaiʻi’s residents regardless of who they are or where they are from,” said HDOT Director Ford Fuchigami. HDOT currently offers the examination in thirteen languages, making Hawaii the only U.S. State with fewer than two million people to offer the exam in more than ten languages and the only state to offer the exam in a native language, Hawaiian. “We are proud of our current language access program and are dedicated to a positive and proactive approach to language access and will continue to look at additional ways to ensure that those with limited English skills can safely drive on our roads.”

FACE is pleased with the outcome and the commitment to keeping translations in place over the long-term. “This resolution is an answer to our prayers,” said FACE organizer reverend Tasha Kama, a minister at Christian Ministry Church in Wailuku. “It takes all of our families-local and immigrant-to make Hawaii work. The more languages and cultures included in our policies, the stronger we are as a state. We appreciate the opportunity to work closely with the Hawaii DOT to further language access for all our people.”

“HDOT is committed to ensuring all drivers have the knowledge and skills to drive safely on Hawaii’s roads,” said Director Fuchigami.

United States District Court Judge Susan Oki Mollway approved the settlement.

Cruise Paradise 2015 Scheduled on the Big Island

The Hawai`i Classic Cruisers (HCC) organization has hosted the largest classic/vintage car cruise in the State of Hawaii every three years (“Cruise Paradise”) since 2000. This year, “Cruise Paradise 2015” is scheduled from June 25, 2015 through July 5, 2015 throughout the Big Island of Hawaii.

Art by Robert Wong

Art by Robert Wong

Car enthusiasts from across the globe, Kansas, Michigan, Oregon, Texas, California and Nevada (just to name a few) are committed to ship their classic/vintage vehicles to Hilo and participate in this event. Neighbor island car enthusiasts from Oahu and Maui also ship their classic/vintage vehicles for this event and join our very own local car enthusiasts from the Big Island to participate in 10 fun-filled days of cruising with the classics. Those traveling from away, finance their own transportation of their vehicle(s) to get to the Big Island harbors.

Participants pay $20 to enter one vehicle and $10 for each vehicle thereafter. This fee allows their vehicle entry into all show and shine events. One-day passes are available for $10 per vehicle at a single event of their choice. It will cost approximately $50,000+ to put on this 10-day event. Expenses include insurances, permits, facility rentals, advertising, professional services, audio/visual services, equipment rental, etc. T-shirts, hats and memorabilia of this event are available for purchase.

Cruise Paradise 2015 is a great opportunity that allows for the Hawaii Classic Cruisers to partner with the community, the County of Hawaii and businesses to showcase and promote our beautiful island. Spectators can participate in this free, fun, family-oriented 10-day event that puts the Big Island on the map of the world with other hot rod organizations.

During Cruise Paradise 2012, over 400 classic vehicles geared up for car shows on the Big Island that attracted over 10,000 spectators in Hilo, Kona and Waikoloa. Residents and visitors walked away from past events extremely satisfied and inspired by the camaraderie and vehicles displayed. The past success of this event resulted in many community members, neighbor islanders and out-of-state participants requesting a repeat of this event.

To enhance the 2015 4th of July (Independence Day) celebration, hundreds of vintage and modified classic cars will be on display for the day in Downtown Hilo Bayfront on July 4. All participants absorb the cost of buying/building a classic car and getting their rides ready for the show-and-shine events. The public is invited to view, photo and experience a part of the past that will rekindle fond memories for the kupuna and create fresh ones for the keiki.

cruise Paradise cars

Car owners receive compliments for displaying their classic/vintage cars at the show-and-shine events. The ambiance of having hundreds of classics in one location and friendly interaction experienced by a diversified group of people has been a true inspiration for car enthusiasts.

Throughout Cruise Paradise 2015, car enthusiasts will burn over 7,500 gallons of fuel, travel over a total of 90,000 miles and spend $23,000 in fuel costs alone. Some vehicles anticipate traveling approximately 600 miles over the 10 days getting about 10-12 miles per gallon of fuel. Car enthusiasts will travel across the island, lodge at various hotels and condominiums, eat at local eateries and shop in our malls, shops and supermarkets. This event is an incredible boost to our local economy.

HCC President, Herbert Leite says, “We are extremely pleased and thankful for the support from the County of Hawaii, local community and car enthusiasts. Car owners invest a lot of time and money building and/or buying their classic vehicles. It gives them great pleasure to share their prized 4-wheeled rides with the community.

We are honored to bring this event to the Big Island this year at no cost to the spectators. We could not make this happen without the help of our 30+ local and mainland sponsors. Hawaii Classic Cruisers thanks NAPA Auto Parts for being the primary financial sponsor of Cruise Paradise since 2000. Other sponsors who contribute significant funding to make this event possible include Orchid Isle Auto Center and DeLuz Chevrolet. Approximately 25+ other sponsors collectively contribute about 25% of the funds needed.

Everyone is encouraged to participate and make this one to remember.”

More information can be found at www.hawaiiclassiccruisers.com


Big Island Senator Urges Action on Federal Highway Fund Extension

The recently appointed Chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Energy is expressing grave concern over the looming expiration date on federal transportation funding.

Sen. Lorraine Inouye

Sen. Lorraine Inouye

Senator Lorraine Inouye (Dist. 4 – N. Kona, Kohala, N. Hilo, Hāmākua) addressed Hawai‘i’s Congressional delegation in a letter urging action on federal funding authorization to avoid a lapse in funding that would severely impact state projects and to support the passage of a bill that will create a more sustainable funding stream for individual transportation projects on a long-term basis.

“Hawai‘i relies greatly on federal funds, as do other states, and our State’s transportation projects depend on long-term commitments from federal funding,” said Sen. Inouye. “It is imperative for Congress to continue to fund projects that have already started while looking for additional long-term solutions that continue to support Hawai‘i’s needs.”

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved HR 2353, the Highway Transportation Funding Act of 2015.  The bill extends funding for the Highway Trust Fund until July 31 through a series of “reconciliation of funds” measures amending the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014. The bill now goes on to the Senate.

Congress has until May 31 to take action on authorizing federal funding for state highway, bridge, and transit projects.  Without action prior to this date, federal aid funds for state projects would be halted. 

Two People Die in Three-Vehicle Collision on Kona Highway

A 47-year-old Kailua-Kona man and his passenger died in a three-vehicle collision Saturday evening (May 9) on Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway near the 94-mile marker.

HPDBadgeThe 47-year-old man was identified as Rick Dupont. His male passenger has not yet been identified.

Responding to a 7:32 p.m. call, police determined that a 2014 Nissan Altima was being operated by a 23-year-old woman traveling south on Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway when her car crossed left of center and side-swiped a 2010 Ford Fusion heading north, then struck head-on with a 2013 Honda CRF 250L motorcycle, also heading north, which was operated by Dupont. Dupont and his passenger were thrown from the motorcycle upon impact.

Both were taken to Kona Community Hospital, where Dupont was pronounced dead at 11:55 p.m. and his passenger was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m.

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

The operator of the Nissan, 23-year-old Rebecca Vetter of Honolulu, was taken to Kona Community Hospital for treatment and was later released. She was arrested on suspicion of first-degree negligent homicide. She was released pending further investigation.

The operator of the Ford, a 60-year-old Kamuela woman, refused treatment and was released by medics at the scene.

Big Island Man Stabbed on Bus – Police Investigating

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a stabbing Saturday morning (April 25) on a Hele-On bus in Honokaʻa.

HPP Bus Picture

At 9:34 a.m. Saturday, Hāmākua Patrol officers and Hawaiʻi Fire Department medics responded to a report of a stabbing victim at the Hele-On bus stop on Lehua Street in Honokaʻa. The victim, a 40-year-old Hilo man, sustained a laceration to his forehead and was taken in serious condition to North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries .

Police learned that the victim and the suspect had been arguing in the bus when the suspect cut the victim’s forehead with an unknown instrument. The suspect then exited the bus and ran away on foot.

A suspect has been identified but no arrests have been made and the case is still under investigation. It has been classified as a first-degree assault.

Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed the incident call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Officer Paul Isotani at 775-7533.

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.

North Hawaii Students Learn Bike Safety from PATH and NHCH

Over the past three months, staff from North Hawaii Community Hospital’s (NHCH) Trauma Program have partnered with Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii (PATH) to provide free bicycle training and safety education to more than 250 fourth grade students at Kohala Elementary School, Honokaa Elementary School, Kanu o ka ‘Aina New Century Public Charter School and Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School.

Path kids

“Partnering with PATH offered an ideal opportunity to provide injury prevention and safety education to North Hawaii students,” says Kimberly Bastien, RN and NHCH Trauma Program Manager. “While PATH taught students proper riding techniques and skills through their Bike Ed program, we provided bicycle safety education and emphasized the importance of wearing a helmet.” Each participating student was properly fitted with a free multi-sport safety helmet, provided by the hospital’s Trauma Team. “Students were thrilled once they learned the brand new helmet was theirs to keep. It made bike education more interesting and fun for them.”

Tina Clothier, Executive Director with PATH added, “We are delighted to partner with North Hawaii Community Hospital’s Trauma Program in our mutual quest to keep North Kohala youth safe while they explore the joys of bike riding. The participants are excited about receiving their own brand new helmets and wear them with pride. Having the NHCH Trauma Program as our partner had raised the bar for our ever popular Bike Ed classes.”

PATH is a non-profit bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organization dedicated to safely connecting the people and places on Hawaii Island with pathways and bikeways. PATH’s Bike Ed program is a bicycle skills program offered to all Big Island schools and youth clubs. During this three-day bicycle program, students learn important bicycle and safety skills, including: the fundamentals of traffic and road safety, hand signals, proper bicycle clothing, as well as how to navigate an intersection, to yield and to ride in control with others.

“Today, children are riding bicycles, scooters, skate boards and other ride-on vehicles,” said Bastien. “Wearing a helmet is crucial to injury prevention and results in fewer injuries in our emergency room.   Not only do helmets reduce the risk of bicycle-related head injury by 80 percent, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but Hawaii State law requires kids younger than 16 years of age wear a helmet. We understand many families may not have the means to purchase a helmet; that’s why we’re doing our part to help keep our keiki safe.”

NHCH’s Trauma Team will offer free helmets to children ages 3 to 12 at the 16th Annual Waimea Healthy Keiki Fest on Saturday, April 18th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Parker Ranch Center in Waimea. NHCH was designated as a Level III Trauma Center in 2013, which allows the hospital to treat injured patients that would otherwise be diverted to trauma centers located over an hour away. The mission of NHCH’s Trauma Program is to continually improve and optimize the care provided for injured patients through an evolving multidisciplinary performance improvement committee, data collection, injury prevention, community outreach and education. For additional information about the hospital’s Trauma Program, please contact Kimberly Bastien, RN and Trauma Program Manager, at 808-881-4820 or Kimberly.Bastien@NHCH.com.

Venomous Spiders Found in Foreign Container

A venomous spider was captured by agents from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Honolulu on Mon., April 13th.


The spider was found in a container of granite and flagstone from Brazil that was being off-loaded in Honolulu. The CBP agents sealed the container and immediately turned the spider over to entomologists at the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), who identified it as a venomous Brazilian wandering spider (genus: Phoneutria). The brown-colored spider had a leg span that measured about 3.5 inches.

Yesterday, a second container from the same shipment was opened and another spider was found and  killed immediately by a worker unloading the container. The spider was destroyed to the extent it could not be positively identified, but the worker said it looked like the photo of the Brazilian wandering spider. The second container was sealed and quarantined. The Plant Quarantine Branch is working with the importer to have the containers shipped back to Brazil.

“This incident emphasizes the importance of coordinated efforts between federal and state inspection agencies in preventing invasive species from entering Hawaii,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “We each have our own inspection areas and duties, but communication is key in protecting the state.”


The CBP is responsible, not only for keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S., but also screening international visitors and foreign cargo. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is charged with inspection of agricultural material and animals transported from foreign countries into the U.S. and the HDOA is responsible for agricultural inspections from ports within the U.S. entering the State of Hawaii.

The Brazilian wandering spider is found in most areas of South America; however, it is not established in North America. They are considered one of the most venomous spiders in the world and may grow to have a leg span of five inches. Their venom is a strong neurotoxin that can cause increased blood pressure and heart rate, vomiting, blurred vision and intense pain where the bite occurs.

This species of spider does not spin webs, but wanders around for their food – thus the name. Their diet consists of insects, other spiders, lizards and small rodents.
Suspected invasive species should be reported immediately to the state’s toll-free PEST HOTLINE –

643-PEST (7378).

Plane Crash at Hilo Airport Leaves 3 Injured – Incident Under Investigation

Hawaii County Fire Department press release regarding downed plane near Hilo Airport:

plane crash

Two passengers and the pilot with injuries were extricated by State Airport Fire Rescue personnel and transported to Hilo Medical Center via Hawaii Fire Department’s Medic 1 & 19.

As of this posting… the State Department of Transportation has not released a public statement on the incident.

Big Island Police Warn About Towing Scam

Hawaiʻi Island police are warning the public about a possible towing scam.
HPDBadgeA 76-year-old Hilo man reported that when he returned to his 2001 Toyota 4Runner that was parked at Liliʻuokalani Gardens in Hilo on Friday morning (April 10), he found a strip of paper on his windshield warning him that his vehicle registration had expired, that he was not to move the vehicle and that a tow truck had been called. The owner then discovered that his vehicle registration sticker was missing. As he drove away, he observed a tow truck in the vicinity.

Police advise the public that when an officer requests a tow truck, the officer stays with the vehicle until the tow truck arrives. Police ask anyone who sees any suspicious activity around parked vehicles 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.