Two Lawsuits Filed Involving Former Damien High School Priest

Civil lawsuits were filed Friday by two men who were sexually abused as minors by clergy at Crosier Seminary in Onamia, Minn. Doe 51 and Doe 56 were molested by multiple priests and brothers of the Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross (“Crosier”) religious order. One of the accused clergy – Father Gerald Funcheon – is accused of sexually abusing several boys at Damien Memorial School in Honolulu in approximately 1982-84.

Fr. Gerald Funcheon

Fr. Gerald Funcheon

Funcheon is accused of sexually abusing many children in several states, including Indiana, Minnesota, Hawaii and California. Funcheon was ordained in Indiana in 1965, and worked in several states and Germany before working at Damien Memorial School 1982-84.

Funcheon is accused of molesting several children at Damien.   There are four pending lawsuits in Hawaii regarding Funcheon’s sexual abuse of minors at Damien Memorial School. Funcheon was terminated from the Crosier order and incardinated into the Diocese of Lafayette (Indiana) in 1987. He currently lives at St. John Vianney Renewal Center in Missouri, funded by the Diocese of Lafayette.

Doe 51 was sexually abused from approximately 1979-81 by Father Gerald Funcheon, Brother Gabriel Guerrero and Brother Roman Fleischhacker, when Doe 51 was approximately 15-17 years old. Doe 56 was sexually abused in approximately 1979-80 by Funcheon, Brother Wendell Mohs and Father Roger Vaughn, when Doe 56 was approximately 14-15 years old. The perpetrators were assigned to Crosier Seminary at the time they abused Doe 51 and Doe 56, who attended the seminary.

“We applaud the courage of Doe 51 and Doe 56 in coming forward to seek accountability and take back power that was stolen from them as children by abusive clergy,” said Jeff Anderson, attorney for Doe 51 and Doe 56. “Funcheon was a particularly damaging offender at Damien Memorial School. These abusers were allowed access to children throughout the country, many of whom they abused. Today, Doe 51 and Doe 56 are helping put an end to that tragic practice.”

Funcheon, Mohs and Vaughn are included on lists of credibly accused clergy made public by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Crosiers. Vaughn is also on a list of credibly accused clergy made public by the Diocese of St. Cloud (Minnesota). Guerrero is included on the Crosiers’ list.

Doe 51 and Doe 56 brought their lawsuits under the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which gives child sexual abuse victims until May 25, 2016, to file civil lawsuits. But persons abused by clergy working in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, including Crosiers, have until August 3, 2015, to bring claims against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in bankruptcy court.

The complaints and more information about the alleged perpetrators can be found at www.andersonadvocates.com.

Civil Defense Hurricane Update

This is Hurricane information update for Saturday August 1st  at 7:00AM.

As of 5:00AM this morning Hawaii Time, Hurricane Guillermo was located approximately 1145 miles east/southeast of Hilo and moving in a west/northwest direction at 14 miles per hour.  Currently, Guillermo has sustained winds of 105 miles per hour with higher gusts.

hurricane 8115

No watches or warnings are in effect at this time and the Civil Defense Agency will be maintaining close communication with the National Weather Service and monitoring the system.  Please monitor your local radio broadcasts for additional updates.   The community is encouraged to take this time to prepare for possible storm impacts that could include high surf, strong winds, and heavy rains.  At the current track and rate of advancement, hazardous conditions could begin to affect Hawaii Island in the next few days.  Although there is some indication the system will weaken, early preparations are recommended and encouraged.

7 Arrested 6 Cited on Restricted Area of Mauna Kea

Early Friday morning, July 31, 2015, officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement arrested seven men, camping in the restricted area on Maunakea on Hawaii Island. The Hawaii County Police Department provided transportation support and booking and rangers from the Office of Mauna Kea Management provided logistical support. An additional six men were issued citations and voluntarily left the mountain.

Mauna Kea from Mauna Loa

Mauna Kea from Mauna Loa

Under the emergency rule approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources and signed by Governor David Ige, it is illegal to be in the restricted area along Mauna Kea Observatory Access Road from 10 p.m. – 4 a.m. The arrests and citations follow more than a week of awareness efforts to ensure people knew the particulars of the emergency rule. These efforts included the placement of signage around the Mauna Kea Visitors Center and the handing out of educational flyers which detail the specific provisions of the rule. Additional law enforcement efforts can continue at any time while the rule is in effect. DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “Our DOCARE officers have done an outstanding job of informing people about the emergency rule. I’m proud of the professionalism they demonstrated, both in making people aware of the rule and in enforcing it.”

Arrested for prohibited activities (Hawaii Administrative Rules section 13-123-21.2(d) as amended:
Eric Ana, 35, Oahu ($250 bail)
Joseph Henderson, 26, Pahoa ($250 bail)
Laakeaokani Sanborn, 32, Kona ($250 bail)
D’Angelo Montez McIntyre, 29, Oahu ($250 bail)
Marcus Yoshizu, 26, Oahu ($250 bail)
Bronson Kobayashi, 23, Kona ($400 bail, additional for failure to appear)
Pueo McGuire Turcotte, 27, Naalehu ($3100 bail, additional for resisting arrest and contempt of court)

Citations for prohibited activities:
Michael Kyser
Lakea Trask
Sam Whatley-Keliihoomalu
Justin Murphy
Caleb Murphy
Kapono Kuikahi

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

International Space Station

It will be visible beginning tonight, Wednesday, July 29 at 808 PM. It will be visible for approximately 6 minutes.  Maximum Height: 87 degrees and it will appear in the Southwest part of the sky and disappear to the Northeast.

New Lava Flow Map Shows Recent Changes to East Rift Zone

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow on June 19 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of June 30 is shown in red. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

Breakouts remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, but on today’s overflight we observed a decrease in overall activity. In particular, breakouts that had been active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō on previous days, around Puʻu Kahaualeʻa, were inactive today.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The active breakouts began about 4 km (2.5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō and reached nearly 8 km (5 miles). This farthest distance has not changed significantly in recent weeks.

Breakouts have further buried Puʻu Kahaualeʻa in recent weeks. The cone was originally covered in thick vegetation, but today only a single dead tree stands on the remnants of the cone rim.

A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree!  (Click to enlarge)

A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree! (Click to enlarge)

More here: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/multimedia/index.php?display=default

Seven Big Island Police Officers Receive Promotions

HPDBadgeChief Harry S. Kubojiri has promoted seven employees from the rank of police officers to the rank of sergeant/detective:

  • Sergeant John T. Talich, a 20-year veteran of the Hawaiʻi Police Department, will be assigned to the North Kohala District. He is currently assigned to the Puna District.
  • Detective Kayne K. M. Kelii, a 16-year-veteran of the Police Department, will be assigned to the Area II Criminal Investigations Section in Kona. He now works in the North Hilo District.
  • Detective David T. Matsushima, a 10-year veteran of the Police Department, will be assigned to the Area II Criminal Investigations Section in Kona. His current assignment is at Kona Patrol.
  • Detective Carrie K. Akina, a 10-year veteran of the Police Department, will be assigned to the Area II Criminal Investigations Section in Kona. She is now assigned to Kona Patrol.
  • Sergeant Charrise K. Wakita, a 12-year veteran of the Police Department, will be assigned to the Puna District. She currently is part of the Traffic Enforcement Unit in East Hawaiʻi.
  • Detective Jeremy S. M. Lewis, a 12-year-veteran of the Police Department, will be assigned to the Area II Criminal Investigations Section in Kona. He is currently assigned to the Area II Vice Section.
  • Detective Jerome A. Manuel, a 10-year veteran of the Police Department, will be assigned to the Area II Juvenile Aid Section, where he now works as an officer.

The promotions take effect August 1.

Statement of Support on Senator Harimoto

State Senator Breene Harimoto, 61, (16th Senatorial District – Pearl City, Momilani, Pearlridge, Aiea, Royal Summit, Aiea Heights, Newtown, Waimalu, Halawa, Pearl Harbor) has recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 

Senator Breene Harimoto

Senator Breene Harimoto

Under the advice and care of his physicians, Senator Harimoto will soon be undergoing treatment. 

“Senator Harimoto is a valued member of our Senate body and a friend to all of us here at the Legislature.  Our thoughts are with Senator Harimoto and his family, and we wish him a speedy recovery” said Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi.

Senator Harimoto has expressed his appreciation for the outpouring of Aloha, and asks for privacy and prayers for himself as well as for his family in the coming weeks. 

Second Saturday’s Start Soon – Pahoa Music & Art Walk

The town of Pahoa is alive and well following the recent scare from the lava flow that threatened the town during the past year.  Starting Saturday, August 8th and continuing on the Second Saturday of each month Pahoa town will host a Music & Art Walk through the town.

Pahoa Music and Art WalkThe festivities begin at 5 pm.  For more information, email SecondSaturday@LoveEternal.org or call 808-315-8984 for more information.

Act Now – Discounts Available for Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference

The 25th Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference is September 25-27 at Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. All attendees registering before August 1 enjoy a discounted fee of up to $50; visit hawaiitropicalfruitgrowers.org to register online with paypal; conference forms can be found at htfg.org.  Open to the public, the event includes mini-conferences on Kauai and in Hilo.

HTFG2015Geared to farmers, educators, orchard managers and proponents of sustainable agriculture, the Thursday-Tuesday event is presented by the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG).

The anniversary conference is titled “Back to Our Roots” and offers a lineup of visiting researchers and agro experts. Yaz Dixzbalis of Queensland will give the keynote address, “Cacao, Jackfruit, Hot-Water, Trellis Wires and Their Relevance to Tropical Horticulture in Australia.” Dixzbalis is an agronomist, serving as a tropical fruit horticulturist with Australia’s Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade. His recent research efforts involve trellising tropical fruits for improved cyclone resilience.

Other speakers and their topics include “The Fruit Explorer” Joseph Simcox, who travels the globe searching, tasting and documenting thousands of edibles. Peter Salleras will discuss a grower’s prospective of “Striving for Sustainable Tropical Tree Fruit Production in the 21st Century and Bob Shaffer presents “Soil Culture in Hawaii.”  Shaffer, agronomist for Honaunau-based Soil Culture Consulting, offers assistance to transition farms, orchards and pastures to biologically integrated farming systems using sustainable farming strategies.

HTFG Executive Director Ken Love says the conference will include USDA updates, Sunday tours with Tom Baldwin, networking and fruit tasting. In addition, Diczbalis will present a “Photo Journal of Fruitful Visits to SE Asia.”

Registration forms and fee schedule are available at www.htfg.org or by contacting Love at kenlove@hawaiiantel.net or Mark Suiso at suiso@aloha.net.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers: Marking its 26th year, HTFG was incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii. It is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion; www.htfg.org.

Two Accidents Kill Big Island Man and Visitor from China at a Waikoloa Resort

A 34-year-old man died Wednesday (July 22) as the result of an industrial accident at a Waikoloa resort.

69-400 Waikoloa Beach Drive

69-400 Waikoloa Beach Drive

South Kohala officers responding to an 8:44 a.m. call learned that a subcontractor had been doing renovations at the resort on the 69-400 block of Waikoloa Beach Drive when he suffered a fatal electric shock. He was taken to North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:40 a.m.

He has been identified as Aaron Barrett of Honokaʻa.

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

AND

A Chinese national apparently drowned Wednesday (July 22) at a Waikoloa resort.

South Kohala police officers responded to a 12:36 p.m. report of a possible drowning at a resort on the 69-400 block of Waikoloa Beach Drive and found a man unconscious on the shore with medics attempting cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. The medics were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:30 p.m.

He has been identified as 44-year-old Cong Guo of Shanghai, China.

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

Waikoloa Beach Resort Restaurants Earn National Acclaim

In June, Lava Lava Beach Club, the oceanfront restaurant at Anaehoomalu Bay, and Kamuela Provision Company (KPC) at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, won recognition on a national level from premier restaurant reservations provider, Open Table.

Kamuela Provision Company in Hilton Waikoloa Village and Lava Lava Beach Club, among the Top 100 Al Fresco Dining experiences, according to Open Table. (Courtesy photos)

Kamuela Provision Company in Hilton Waikoloa Village and Lava Lava Beach Club, among the Top 100 Al Fresco Dining experiences, according to Open Table. (Courtesy photos)

In selecting its “Top 100 Best Al Fresco Dining in America,” more than five million reviews were surveyed from over 20,000 restaurants nationwide, between May 1, 2014, and April 30, 2015. To be included, restaurants were evaluated for excellence in outdoor dining experience, as well as overall service and food/beverage quality.

“The quality of restaurants within our destination resort is outstanding,” said the Resort’s Vice President Scott Head. “It’s great to know that reviews from visitors around the country are reflecting what we’ve known from the beginning. The combination of our Island’s beautiful settings, its first-class fresh foods from local sources and a warm, natural service style makes them winners. I am proud to congratulate Lava Lava Beach Club and Kamuela Provision Company.”

Statewide, 17 Hawaii restaurants made the list, eight from Hawaii Island. Earlier this year, CNN named Lava Lava Beach Club as one of Hawaii’s Top 10 Best Beach Bars.

Lava Lava Beach Club

Lava Lava Beach Club

Established in 2012, Lava Lava Beach Club is presented by the Von Platen Luder family of restaurateurs that includes the venerable Huggo’s in Kailua-Kona. They also offer overnight accommodations in four beach front cottages. For information and reservations, call 808-769-5282 or visit www.lavalavabeachclub.com.

Kamuela Provision Company’s signature Hawaii Regional Cuisine features prime steaks and fresh local produce and seafood is served in a matchless ocean sunset setting. For reservations, call 808-886-1234 or visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com.

Waikoloa Beach Resort is a complete destination resort that encompasses two championship golf courses and over 3,000 guest rooms in two upscale hotels, and seven luxury condominiums and vacation home properties. The Resort also includes award-winning Queens’ MarketPlace and Kings’ Shops, offering a wide variety of shopping opportunities, services and dining experiences, plus free entertainment and cultural programs. For more information visit www.WaikoloaBeachResort.com or call (808) 886-8822.

Seven Hawaii Schools to Offer Free Meals to All Students

This school year, the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) will implement a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pilot program this school year at seven public schools, which will allow all students at those schools to receive free meal service.

Free Lunch

The program, called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), allows a school district, a group of schools or a single school to serve free meals to everyone even if they do not qualify for the free or reduced lunch reimbursement.

The CEP program has been adopted by jurisdictions around the country. “One major factor in the future of the program is the high cost of a meal in Hawaii compared with the much lower rates around the country,” stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We’re grateful for this opportunity to participate in this pilot to benefit families in need.”

The schools participating in the pilot program are:

To qualify for CEP, a district, grouping or school must have a minimum of 40 percent or more of its students eligible for free or reduced meals through the National School Lunch Program.

Currently HIDOE pays an average of $5.50 a meal (including food costs, labor, utilities, etc.). The USDA reimburses the state $3.85 for students who qualify for a free meal and $0.40 for those paying for a meal. HIDOE charges $2.50 for elementary school lunch for a total of $2.90 in recouped cost for the state.​

Under the program, all students in a CEP school would qualify for the higher $3.85 reimbursement. While the seven pilot schools will no longer be collecting meal monies and ensuring accounts have sufficient funds, families will be required to provide information for data collection.

“The schools were chosen so that the Department can analyze how families and students in a single island community such as Molokai, respond to the program while also giving officials the chance to study the impact of individual schools in separate and distinct districts on Oahu and Hawaii Island,” Office of School Facilities and Support Services Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson said.

For more information about CEP visit: http://bit.ly/HawaiiCEP

 

Orchid Show Preview Party Held in Memory of Sandy Song

This year, the benefit Preview Party that kicks off the Hilo Orchid Society’s 63rd anniversary Orchid Show and Sale is being held in memory of Sandy Song.

The Hilo Orchid Show Preview Party on Thursday, August 6 is dedicated to the late Sandra Song (right) as a tribute to her years of devoted board service to Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, and her avid orchid growing and judging.  The late Song and Judge Andrew Wilson (left) were founding board members of Ku‘ikahi in 2016.

The Hilo Orchid Show Preview Party on Thursday, August 6 is dedicated to the late Sandra Song (right) as a tribute to her years of devoted board service to Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, and her avid orchid growing and judging. The late Song and Judge Andrew Wilson (left) were founding board members of Ku‘ikahi in 2016.

The party is dedicated to the late Song as a tribute to her years of devoted board service to Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, and her avid orchid growing and judging.

“It’s Ku‘ikahi’s way of honoring Sandy,” said party chair Cody Frenz.  “She did so much every year to make the preview party a success.  She donated orchids and wine, sold tickets, and garnered the loyalty of party volunteers.”

Held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 6, the gala features drinks, food, music, and orchid pre-sales.  Please note that the location for this year’s party and show has changed to the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.  The event is zero waste, with eco-friendly eating utensils, plus recycling/composting stations.

Each party-goer receives a souvenir glass, in order to enjoy a selection of fine wines, plus beer on tap from Kona Brewing Co.  Non-alcoholic beverages and coffee from Hilo Coffee Mill are also served.

Pupu, dinner, and dessert buffets are compliments of Island Naturals and AJ & Sons Catering, featuring the food stylings of Dean Shigeoka and Audrey Wilson, food columnist for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

“This truly is a ‘fun’-raiser.  People eat, drink, socialize, and have the first chance to shop for magnificent and rare orchid plants,” Frenz said, “And proceeds from the party benefit two non-profits: Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center and Hilo Orchid Society.”

Guests will enjoy a generous selection of fine wines at the 63rd Annual Hilo Orchid Show and Sale Preview Party.  Held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium on August 6, the gala event also features beer on tap from Kona Brewing Co., coffee from Hilo Coffee Mill, and gourmet juices from Island Naturals.

Guests will enjoy a generous selection of fine wines at the 63rd Annual Hilo Orchid Show and Sale Preview Party. Held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium on August 6, the gala event also features beer on tap from Kona Brewing Co., coffee from Hilo Coffee Mill, and gourmet juices from Island Naturals.

Tickets for the Preview Party are $65 ($25 of which is tax deductible) and may be purchased in advance from The Most Irresistible Shop, Hilo Coffee Mill, Day-Lum Properties, and Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.  Or call Julie Mitchell at (808) 935-7844 x 5.  For more information, visit www.hiloorchidsociety.org/preview-party or www.hawaiimediation.org.

California Man Dies in Hilo Traffic Collision

A 61-year old California man died Saturday (July 18) after being involved in a one-vehicle traffic collision on Kanoelehua Avenue between Kahaopea Street and Kawailani Street in Hilo.

HPDBadgeResponding to a 9:41 p.m. call, South Hilo patrol officers determined that the driver was traveling south on Kanoelehua Avenue and operating a 2015 Ford four-door sedan when he ran off the right side of the road and struck a cement wall.

Police believe that the driver may have suffered a medical condition prior to the crash.

Fire/rescue personnel took the driver to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 10:16 p.m. His name is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of next of kin.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a coroner’s inquest case and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. Police are going to wait for autopsy results before counting this death toward the official traffic fatality count.

Police ask anyone with information about this crash to call Officer Keith Nacis at 961-8118.

Man Charged With Attempted Murder and Assault for Assault at Wailoa State Park

A 32-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder and assault in connection with a double stabbing early Monday (July 20) at Wailoa State Park.

David Lester Bars

David Lester Bars

At 4:31 p.m. Monday, detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section charged David Lester Bars, who has no permanent address, with attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault. His bail was set at $260,000. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Tuesday (July 21).

At 12:21 a.m. Monday, South Hilo Patrol officers responded to a report of a stabbing during a disturbance at Wailoa State Park.

Officers found two victims, a 27-year-old Pāhoa man with a stab wound to the throat and a 24-year-old Pāhoa woman with a cut on her right leg. Police determined that the victims had been injured when an argument became physical. They were taken to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of their injuries.

Other officers en route to the park found a man matching the description of the suspect, later identified as Bars, walking on Piʻilani Street. Bars was arrested and taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

The male victim was treated for his injuries and remains at the hospital in stable condition. The female victim was treated for her injuries and released from the hospital.

This Weekend – BISAC Summer Jam 2015

The Big Island Substance Abuse Council is inviting the public to come out to celebrate the fun-filled days of summer at its Summer Jam 2015 on Saturday July 25, 2015 at Waiākea High School from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

This year’s entertainment line up features New Zealand pop sensation Pieter T and Hawaiʻi’s own Nesian N.I.N.E.

Pieter T

Pieter T

Pieter T has been steadily climbing up the New Zealand radio charts since his days with the musical group, Boyband. In 2009 Pieter T debuted as a solo artist with the single “Cold Nights” followed by the singles, “Stay With Me”, “Can’t Stop Loving You” and “Something Else”, which peaked at number six on the NZ Radio Charts. His latest release is the single “Business” featuring PNC and Dei Hamo off his debut album “Life”.

Nesian N.I.N.E. (Natives Inna New Era)

Nesian N.I.N.E. (Natives Inna New Era)

Island Reggae Music group Nesian N.I.N.E. (Natives Inna New Era) hit the charts in 2009 with their Hōkū-nominated album “Press Play,” and has been going strong ever since, appearing with BoyZ II Men, Klymaxx, El Debarge and others.

Other featured artists in the line up include, 2014 Brown Bags to Stardom winners One Rhythm 808, Beyond Paradise, and Kolea.

“It’s really very exciting to once again have so many talented artists coming to play at the Summer Jam,” said BISAC CEO Dr. Hannah Preston-Pita.

This year’s event will also feature a National Qualifier Strongman Competition, ‘ono food and keiki crafts and activities including the Zoo Choo, Bouncy Houses, Human Hamster Ball, Laser Tag, Bungee Run and a Sticky Wall. Keiki ride wristbands purchased online are 50% off. Entry is a $2 suggested donation.

All funds raised above the cost of producing the event go towards BISAC’s adult and school-based Poʻokela Vocational program, Mom and Babies program, and Keiki School Based Services.

For more information about BISAC’s Summer Jam go to www.summerjamhawaii.com.

 

Department of Education Updates Income Qualifications for Free and Reduced Lunch

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) is announcing its policy update for free and reduced-price meals for children unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs for the 2015-16 school year. Copies of the policy are available at public schools. Children from households with income at or below the following levels are eligible for free or reduced-price meals: 

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Application forms are being sent to all homes with a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced-price meals, households should fill out one application and return it to the school where the child is enrolled or complete an online application via ezmealapp.com. Applications for the current school year (2015-16) are now being accepted. The application information will be used to determine eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by the school or other program officials.

For DOE officials to determine eligibility, households receiving SNAP or TANF must list the child’s name, date of birth, grade, school code and their SNAP or TANF case number and the signature and name of an adult household member. Households not receiving SNAP or TANF must list: 1) the names of everyone in the household; 2) the amount of income received by each person, how often the income is received and the source of the income; 3) the name and social security number of either parent/guardian who is the primary wage earner or the adult household member who signs the form or the word “none” if neither adult household member has a social security number; and 4) the signature of an adult household member.

Applications may be submitted at any time during the year. View our program page here​.

Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price policy, the DOE will review applications and determine eligibility. Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the ruling of the official may wish to discuss the decision with the reviewing official on an informal basis. Parents wishing to make a formal appeal may make a request for a hearing on the decision in writing to:

Glenna Owens, SFA Director, 1106 Koko Head Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816
Phone Number: (808) 733-8414 or toll-free 1-800-441-4845.

In certain cases foster children are also eligible for school meal benefits. If a household has foster children living with them and wishes to apply for them, the household should contact the school for more information.

The information provided by the household is confidential and will be used only for purposes of determining eligibility and verifying data.

In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

 

As Climate Warms Hawaiian Forest Birds Lose More Ground to Mosquitoes

Hawai‘i, the name alone elicits images of rhythmic traditional dancing, breathtaking azure sea coasts and scenes of vibrant birds flitting through lush jungle canopy. Unfortunately, the future of many native Hawaiian birds looks grim as diseases carried by mosquitoes are due to expand into higher elevation safe zones.

Palila Bird

A new study published in Global Change Biology, by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, assesses how global climate change will affect future malaria risk to native Hawaiian bird populations in the coming century.

Mosquito-carried diseases such as avian pox and avian malaria have been devastating native Hawaiian forest birds. A single mosquito bite can transfer malaria parasites to a susceptible bird, where the death rate may exceed 90 percent for some species. As a result, many already threatened or endangered native birds now only survive in disease-free refuges found in high-elevation forests where mosquito populations and malaria development are limited by colder temperatures. Unlike continental bird species, island birds cannot move northward in response to climate change or increased disease stressors, but must adapt or move to less hospitable habitats to survive.

“We knew that temperature had significant effects on mosquitoes and malaria, but we were surprised that rainfall also played an important role,” said USGS Wisconsin Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit scientist Michael Samuel. “Additional rainfall will favor mosquitoes as much as the temperature change.”

With warming temperatures, mosquitoes will move farther upslope and increase in number. The authors expect high-elevation areas to remain mosquito-free, but only until mid-century when mosquito-friendly temperatures will begin to appear at higher elevations. Future increases in rainfall will likely benefit the mosquitoes as well.

Scientists know that historically, malaria has caused bird extinctions, but changing climates could affect the bird-mosquito-disease system in unknown ways. “We wanted to figure out how climate change impacts birds in the future,” said Wei Liao, post-doctorate at University of Wisconsin-Madison and lead author of the article.

As more mosquitoes move up the mountainside, disease-free refuges will no longer provide a safe haven for the most vulnerable species. The rate of disease infection is likely to speed up as the numbers of mosquitoes increase and more diseased birds become hosts to the parasites, continuing the cycle of infection to healthy birds.

Researchers conclude that future global climate change will cause substantial decreases in the abundance and diversity of remaining Hawaiian bird communities. Without significant intervention many native Hawaiian species, like the scarlet ‘I‘iwi with its iconic curved bill, will suffer major population declines or extinction due to increasing risk from avian malaria during the 21st century.

There is hope for the birds. Because these effects are unlikely to appear before mid-century, natural resource managers have time to implement conservation strategies to protect these unique species from further decimation. Land managers could work toward preventing forest bird number declines by restoring and improving habitat for the birds, reducing mosquitoes on a large scale and controlling predators of forest birds.

“Hawaiian forest birds are some of the most threatened forest birds in the world,” said Samuel. “They are totally unique to Hawai‘i and found nowhere else. They are also important to the Hawaiian culture. And at this point, we still don’t fully understand what role they play as pollinators and in forest dynamics.”

The article, “Will a Warmer and Wetter Future Cause Extinction of Native Hawaiian Forest Birds?” can be found in the online edition of Global Change Biology.

The work was supported by the Department of Interior Pacific Islands Climate Science Center, which is managed by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. The center is one of eight that provides scientific information to help natural resource managers respond effectively to climate change.

Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset Honors Three with “Service to Community Award”

The Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset honored three members of the community with their “Service to Community Award.” In addition to the awards, the recipients were presented certificates from Rep. Joy San Buenaventura (Puna) and the Hawaii House of Representatives for their hard work and dedication.

The awardees are:

  • Catherine Ford, who wakes up at 4:30 am to look for the Pahoa homeless and find out what their needs are. Catherine visits those who are hospitalized and for those that don’t have transportation, she drives them to acquire their checks, food and medication.  She has become an advocate for those who normally have none.
Lyndon Johnson was honored.

Lyndon Honda was honored.

  •  Chef Lyndon Honda, whose passion for cuisine, food culture and compassion for others inspired him to organize various food events to benefit victims of Hurricane Iselle and the June 27 lava flow.  Chef Lyndon rallied various chefs from Maui and the Big Island to donate their skill, time and money so that 100% of the monies raised went to Puna Farmers and those affected by Iselle and the lava flow.  This unheard of percentage going to victims shows Chef Honda’s ability to organize and rally those whose compassion are like his on short notice.
  • Kalani Honua, which organization spent approximately eighty-nine thousand dollars of their own money to provide food, ice, and water to the people of Puna who were affected by Hurricane Iselle and who were without power and refrigeration.  Kalani Honua showcases lower Puna to the rest of the world as a sustainable healthy agricultural Hawaiian community and has been featured multiple times in Yoga Journal and is a vital and important contributor to the community of the lower Puna region.

The Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset, chartered on April 1, 2009, meets Tuesday nights at 6:30 p.m. at The Historic Akebono Theatre in Pahoa, Puna Hawaii.

At an earlier town hall meeting, Representative San Buenaventura also honored Rene Siracusa, who has dedicated a life of volunteer service to Puna and its residents.

Ms. Siracusa is involved in a number of community organizations including the Puna Outdoor Circle, Big Island Rainforest Action Group, Puna Friends of the Parks, Puna Malama Pono, and Malama O Puna, which have all made positive environmental impacts to Puna.  Ms. Siracusa helped with the grant writing to secure funding for the Puna Community Medical Center’s Urgent Care Clinic and currently sits as the Chair of the Board of Directors.

Her participation as part of the Coqui Frog Working Group initially controlled the coqui frog at Lava Tree State Park in Nanawale and continues to educate the residents of Puna on the importance of bringing the invasive species under control.  She has served on various boards and committees such as the “Ka’ohe Homesteads Community & Farm Watch”, Hawai’i County Planning Commission, Healing Our Island Grant Review Committee, and was Chair of the Hawai‘i County Redistricting Commission (2011).

Pahoa Woman Arrested Again On Mauna Kea – Disruptive to Protestors and Removes Clothes

For the second day in a row, a Pāhoa woman was arrested on the Mauna Kea access Road.

Cynthia Marlin

Cynthia Marlin

In response to a 9:18 p.m. call Monday (July 13), South Hilo Patrol officers responded to the Mauna Kea Access Road, where a woman was yelling. It was reported that she had been disruptive to peaceful protesters and that she had briefly removed her clothing.

At 10:30 p.m., Cynthia Marlin (aka Cynthia Kealahilahi Verschuur Marlin) was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Her bail was set at $1,000. She was held at the Hilo police cellblock overnight and is scheduled to make her initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon (July 14).

Early Sunday (July 12), officers from the Hawaiʻi Police Department processed Marlin on charges of criminal property damage and obstructing after she was detained on the mountain by a Sheriff’s deputy for allegedly using her car to ram the vehicle of an Office of Mauna Kea Management ranger. She was released from custody on those charges the same day after posting $500 bail.

Cynthia Kealahilahi Verschuur Marlin's Facebook picture

Cynthia Kealahilahi Verschuur Marlin’s Facebook picture