2013 Big Island Chocolate Festival Coming Up

It’s where you can feast on rich, creamy chocolate to your heart’s content! Satisfy all your chocolate cravings—and more—at the second annual Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) Saturday, March 23, 2013 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.

The highlight of the decidedly decadent festival is the colorful and tasty 5:30-10 p.m. gala with tempting sweet and savory chocolate creations prepared by top island chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners.  Savor a friendly culinary competition where you can vote for People’s Choice in a host of categories including mouth-watering bonbons.  Also enjoy live entertainment by LT Smooth; dancing; fine wines and hand-crafted ales; plus a silent auction.

“We are delighted to be the host hotel for the second annual Big Island Chocolate Festival,” shared Executive Chef Hubert Des Marais. “To be a part of such a wonderful event in partnership with the Kona Cacao Association is an honor and a privilege, not to mention the delicious culinary creations from Hawai‘i Island’s best chefs.”

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc., BICF benefits the $1 million “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and efforts to build a community amphitheatre at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Other chocolatey fun includes daytime cacao farm tours and compelling educational demonstrations by chocolatiers and cacao farmers. Learn about what it takes to grow the bean that makes chocolate—and why Hawai‘i is the only state that commercially grows cacao—plus how to turn cacao, or cocoa, into the coveted “food of the gods.”

A veritable Who’s Who in the world of chocolate—both locally and nationally— has been invited to serve as celebrity culinary judges and educational presenters. Last year’s inaugural event headlined “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres of New York City as a celebrity judge.

Ticket sales for Hawai‘i’s premiere chocolate event start January 1 and early-bird gala tickets are $60 until 100 are sold.  After that, presale tickets are $75, then $85 at the door. Tickets will also be available at Kona Wine Market and Kona Pacific Public Charter School. For event details and online tickets, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

A special event rate of $309/night for Garden View accommodations including daily breakfast for two is offered at The Fairmont Orchid. Contact reservations for details at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of this new association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

 

Puna Ulu (Breadfruit) Festival Goes Nuts – Ulu a Niu

The Second Annual Puna ‘Ulu Festival—‘Ulu a Niu will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2013 from 9 am – 3 pm at Ho‘oulu Lāhui, the site of Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School at Pū‘āla‘a, adjacent to the ‘Āhalanui County Park warm ponds in Puna. The event is free and open to the public. The Puna ‘Ulu Festival—‘Ulu a Niu will celebrate ‘ulu (breadfruit) and niu (coconut) with a cooking contest, breadfruit trees and coconut palm trees for sale, presentations, keiki activities, cultural demonstrations, music all day with Diane Aki, Bruddah Cuz and Ili Wai, and local food featuring breadfruit and coconut.

The day will begin at 9 am with an opening pule by Kumu Hula Auli‘i Mitchell followed by a message from Governor Neil Abercrombie delivered by his representative Wendy Botelho-Cortez.

The buffet lunch will feature gourmet dishes by Casey Halpren of Café Pesto, Kanoa Miura of Aloha Mondays, and Mark Noguchi of Pili Hawaii and Taste. The tentative menu includes Fried ‘Ulu Croquettes, Braised Big Island Beef, Vegetable Curry, Heart of Palm Slaw with Coconut Mayo and ‘Ulu Chocolate Cookies.

Auntie Shirley Kauhaihao of Ke‘ei, South Kona, will be demonstrating how to select and prepare ‘ulu fruit. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Auntie Shirley Kauhaihao of Ke‘ei, South Kona, will be demonstrating how to select and prepare ‘ulu fruit. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Cultural activities include ‘ulu and kalo poi pounding with Uncle Jerry Konanui and ‘Anakala Isaiah Kealoha, kapa making with ‘ulu bark by experts Wesley and Lehua Sen, crafting of pahu drums from coconut with Keone Turalde, coconut weaving, and making cordage from coconut fiber with Larry Kuamo‘o. Keiki activities include games, face painting and block printing. Micronesians United will present traditional Micronesian preparations of ‘ulu with coconut milk. Demonstrations of how to make coconut milk will be held throughout the day. Local coconut water, fresh out of the coconut, will be for sale.

This year the festival is called ‘Ulu a Niu and will feature fresh coconut water for sale and cultural and horticultural activities related to niu (coconut) such as making of coconut milk, coconut palms for sale, crafting of pahu drums from coconut with Keone Turalde, coconut weaving, and making cordage from coconut fiber with Larry Kuamo‘o. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

This year the festival is called ‘Ulu a Niu and will feature fresh coconut water for sale and cultural and horticultural activities related to niu (coconut) such as making of coconut milk, coconut palms for sale, crafting of pahu drums from coconut with Keone Turalde, coconut weaving, and making cordage from coconut fiber with Larry Kuamo‘o. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Learning how to cook ‘ulu and niu in new and traditional ways is one of the highlights of the festival. Cooking demonstrations will be given by local favorite Chef Mark Noguchi aka “Chef Gooch”; Shirley Kauhaihao will show how to select and prepare ‘ulu fruit; Dr. Nat Bletter, Chocolate Flavormeister of Madre Chocolate will be demonstrating how to make exquisite deserts from ‘ulu and niu; the Kua O Ka Lā students culinary arts class will present their award-winning spicy ‘ulu poke and raw foods experts Laura Dawn and Noah Dan will demonstrate how to make ‘ulu tortillas with a variety of sauces.

The public is invited to compete in the ‘Ulu a Niu Cooking Contest in which the public can enter recipes in the categories of Appetizer, Main Dish/Entrée and Dessert. Entries must include both ‘ulu (breadfruit) and niu (coconut), but the main ingredient must be ‘ulu. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each of these categories and for Healthiest Choice and Best in Show. Breadfruit Cooking Contest rules and entry forms can be found at www.breadfruit.info.

The public is invited to compete in the ‘Ulu a Niu Cooking Contest and can enter recipes in the categories of Appetizer, Main Dish/Entrée and Dessert.  Pictured is the 2012 Best of Show winner, Pūnana Cookies, by Raven Hannah and Jeremy Lutes. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

The public is invited to compete in the ‘Ulu a Niu Cooking Contest and can enter recipes in the categories of Appetizer, Main Dish/Entrée and Dessert. Pictured is the 2012 Best of Show winner, Pūnana Cookies, by Raven Hannah and Jeremy Lutes. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Educational presentations about the cultural and horticultural aspects of breadfruit and coconut round out the event. Kua O Ka Lā students will present a need assessment of the importance of ‘ulu and niu in the community. Kumu Ryan McCormack will give two cultural presentations: ‘Ulu: A Hawaiian Perspective and Niuolahiki—The Life Giving Coconut. Noa Kekuewa Lincoln of Stanford University will present his original research on Kaluulu—the Ancient Kona Breadfruit Grove. Agroforestry expert Craig Elevitch of Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network will speak about Home Gardens—Pasifika Style. Dr. Diane Ragone and Ian Cole of the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden will be on hand to answer questions and will give presentations on Breadfruit and Sustainability and ‘Ulu from Root to Fruit: Tree Planting, Care and Maintenance. A tree planting with Leila Kealoha will commemorate the event.

Keiki activities at the Second Annual Puna ‘Ulu Festival—‘Ulu a Niu include games, face painting and block printing. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Keiki activities at the Second Annual Puna ‘Ulu Festival—‘Ulu a Niu include games, face painting and block printing. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

The Puna ‘Ulu Festival is presented by Ho‘oulu Lāhui, Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School, Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network, the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. The festival is sponsored by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Kūkulu Ola—Living Hawaiian Culture Program administered by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Doc Buyers Fund at Hawaii Community Foundation, Kamehameha Schools, Suisan, Aloha Mondays, Madre Chocolate and Café Pesto. The Second Annual Puna ‘Ulu Festival—‘Ulu a Niu is a part of a larger statewide effort to revitalize breadfruit for food security called Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu. Learn more about the Puna ‘Ulu Festival by visiting www.breadfruit.info or call 965-5098.

State Reaches Settlement with Hawaiian Electric Company

As island families and businesses continue to face high energy prices, Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced a settlement between the State of Hawaii and the Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. (HECO) that will result in the withdrawal of a rate increase request for Hawaii Island and a significant reduction in taxpayer dollars requested to cover project costs.

abercrombieheader

Subject to approval by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the formal settlement filed with the PUC on Jan. 28 outlines an agreement between the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’Division of Consumer Advocacy (DCA) and HECO, including its subsidiaries, Maui Electric Co., Ltd. (MECO) and Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. (HELCO), which serve Maui County and Hawaii Island, respectively.

“With high oil prices driving up electricity and other costs throughout our economy, we have to take action to help Hawaii’s families and businesses who are struggling to make ends meet,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “While this settlement will help in the short-term, we remain committed to pursuing long-term solutions toward clean energy alternatives.”

As part of the settlement, HELCO will withdraw its request for a 4.2 percent or $19.8 million rate increase in 2013.

HECO and its subsidiaries will also reduce by $40 million the amount being sought for improvements to two major projects –the 110-megawatt biofuel generating station at Campbell Industrial Park and a new customer information system.

In addition, HECO will also delay filing a 2014 rate case that was originally scheduled to be filed this year under the current regulatory framework for reviewing its rates.

DCA Executive Director Jeffrey Ono said: “This settlement will benefit consumers and help reduce the ever-increasing cost of electricity.”

UPDATE:

HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC COMPANIES’ STATEMENT REGARDING SETTLEMENT WITH HAWAII CONSUMER ADVOCATE

We believe the rate case settlement agreement we reached with the Consumer Advocate is fair and recognizes how difficult times are for our customers. High fuel prices are continuing to affect our customers and hurt our state’s economy.

If this settlement is approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, it would allow all of the parties involved to focus their resources on increasing the use of local, renewable energy and other options that can help reduce our state’s dependence on oil and decrease energy costs for our customers.

Neighbor Island Video Conferencing Pilot Project Will Allow Big Island Residents to Testify at Senate Meetings From Home

Constituents on Hawaii Island now have the chance to testify at a Senate meeting without physically being there.   By using the Hawaii State Senate’s new Neighbor Island Video Conferencing Pilot Project, constituents on the neighbor islands will be able to participate in the legislative process without traveling to Oahu.

In its inaugural year, the Neighbor Island Video Conferencing Pilot Project is being piloted by the Senate Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Technology and the Arts.  Along with neighbor island residents, State or County departments based on a neighbor island may participate in this project.  Hearing notices for the pilot project hearings will indicate that videoconferencing testimony will be allowed and contain a link to instructions for the public on how to participate.

Click for more information

Click for more information

“Today’s technology brings people together and allows them to communicate the Senate’s Neighbor Island Video Conferencing Program just does that.  It is an efficient and economical method of having our residents take part in committee hearings without having to travel,” said Senator Malama Solomon, who represents (District 4) Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa and Kona.

“This is a terrific opportunity especially for those who cannot participate in person and still be able to be part of the legislative process,” said Senator Russell Ruderman, who represents (District 2) Puna and Kau.

“I encourage everyone to take advantage of this new opportunity to participate in the democratic process,” said Senator Gilbert Kahele, who represents (District 1) Hilo.  “Constituents will find it gratifying to get their voices heard on issues they support or oppose.”

“Videoconferencing has made significant advancements in medicine, education and other fields and I believe it will make an important contribution here at the State Capitol by enabling our Hawaii Island residents to participate in hearings,” said Senator Josh Green, who represents (District 3) Kona and Kau.

Because this is a pilot project, there are some limitations to how many individuals are able to participate.  Following the completion of the Legislative Session, the project will be evaluated and perhaps the Senate will be able to expand it to cover more committees, more hearings, and possibly a wider audience.

For more information on the Neighbor Island Video Conferencing Program, go to:  http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/videoconf.aspx

 

Big Island Police Identify Second Body Found Off Stainback Highway

Police have identified the remains found off the “Tree Planting Road” off Stainback Highway in Hilo as a 44-year-old Hawaiian Acres man who was initially reported missing and later determined to be a murder victim.

Dante Peter Gilman

Dante Peter Gilman

Dante Peter Gilman was identified through dental records.

Police are withholding a cause of death pending additional forensic analysis. Police are also working with an anthropologist from the Joint POW Accounting Command/Central Identification Laboratory from the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Oahu to perform additional examinations.

On January 22 at about 5:18 a.m., police received an anonymous tip of a body off the “Tree Planting Road.”

Claude Keone Krause

Claude Keone Krause

Police were conducting a search in the area for the body of Gilman, who was initially reported as missing. A murder investigation into his disappearance was initiated and Claude Keone Krause and his cousin, Kawena Krause, were both charged in that case.

Kawena K. Krause

Kawena K. Krause

Police ask that anyone with information on this case call Detective Derek Morimoto at 961-2380 or email him at dmorimoto@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona 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.

 

Video – The Kilauea Volcano Eruption of 1955

1955

The Kilauea Volcano Eruption of 1955:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/Af1mSGux_Ug]

State Continues to Seek Meaningful and Fair Agreement for Teachers and Students HSTA Proposal Costs Exceed $1 Billion

The State negotiations team recently notified the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) that it cannot responsibly accept its latest proposal, which would cost the State $1,050,445,815 over four years, mostly in additional compensation and benefit expenses.

DOE Release

On Dec. 5, 2012 the State offered HSTA $49.2 million in pay increases – two percent annual increases for the next two years – which was rejected by HSTA’s negotiating team. The proposed increases are on top of the restoration of the temporary five percent reductions that end on June 30, 2013, and have a budgetary impact of $178.8 million over four years.

Days later, the HSTA team declined the State’s request to meet promptly to seek an agreement. Last week, when negotiations resumed, the HSTA presented its first proposal in almost a year. The HSTA’s four-year proposal, which it made available publicly last week via social media, was much more costly than any prior HSTA proposal.

In its proposal, HSTA seeks to:

· Increase teachers’ base pay by 48.1 percent over the next four years,
· Delay implementation of the new Educator Effectiveness System,
· Gain veto power over development of each step of the system.

“We appreciate HSTA’s proposal but it is fiscally unrealistic. It’s obvious there is more work to do to reach a resolution,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Our focus remains on moving our strategic plan forward, providing the best learning environments for our teachers and students, and continuing on our path toward higher academic achievement. Recent gains are the direct result of our teachers’ dedication and commitment, and future success will require all stakeholders working together toward our common goals.”

The two sides resumed negotiations on Jan. 22, 2013 in which the State negotiating team provided a detailed response to the HSTA. The State’s negotiating team consists of representatives of the Hawaii State Board of Education, Schools Superintendent and the State Office of Collective Bargaining.

“While we were pleased that HSTA finally presented a proposal, we were surprised and disappointed by its contents,” stated Board of Education member Jim Williams. “We depend on and value our teaching professionals. The HSTA’s proposal is not financially viable or prudent. By their actions – delays providing a proposal, declining to make negotiations meetings a priority, making unrealistic financial demands and seeking to delay implementation of the new Educator Effectiveness System – HSTA leaders do not appear to be moving urgently toward reaching an agreement.”

The State and HSTA return to negotiations on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.

OVERVIEW: Costs of HSTA’s Latest Proposal

 

Big Island Police Searching for 40-Year-Old Woman Wanted on Outstanding Warrants

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a 40-year-old Kamuela woman wanted on several outstanding warrants.

Crystal Marie Torres aka Crystal

Crystal Marie Torres aka Crystal Torres Bolosan

Crystal Marie Torres, also known as Crystal Torres Bolosan, is described as part Hawaiian, about 5-foot-6, about 110 pounds with brown eyes and dark brown shoulder length straight hair.

She is wanted on two warrants for failure to appear for traffic citations and on a warrant of arrest for bail jumping.

Torres is known to frequent the South Kohala and North Kohala areas.

Police ask that anyone with information on her whereabouts call Lieutenant Gregory

Multiple Lava Streams Enter the Ocean Near Base of Kilauea

Here is the latest USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Report:

Multiple lava streams entering the ocean, and breakouts near the base of the pali

Several streams of lava were entering the water near Kupapa`u Point. Here at the eastern end of the ocean entry a narrow stream is battered by the surf.

Breakouts near the shoreline have diminished over the past week, but surface flows remain active closer to the base of the pali on the coastal plain.

 

Hawaii “HI-5″ Recycling Alert – Large Gatorade Bottles May Not be Refundable

Just a quick warning to Hawaii residents who may purchase the large containers of Gatorade here in Hawaii… at least on the Big Island at certain stores!

GatoradeYou may get charged the “HI-5″ deposit fees for these large containers of Gatorade…. however, many of these containers may not be redeemable at local recycling centers due to them not having Hawaii printed on the labels… (However, other states are printed on them)

If you are charged a tax on these containers… I was told you need to take your receipt to the customer service place of the store you purchased them from.

 

3.2 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Waimea Area of Big Island

*Update* It was upgraded from a 3.1 to a 3.2.
earthquake

Magnitude 3.2
Date-Time
  • Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 05:43:56 PM at epicenter
Location 19.926°N, 155.542°W
Depth 22 km (13.7 miles)
Region ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII
Distances
  • 17 km (11 miles) SE (129°) from Waimea, HI
  • 19 km (12 miles) SSW (206°) from Honokaa, HI
  • 22 km (14 miles) S (172°) from Kukuihaele, HI
  • 54 km (33 miles) WNW (297°) from Hilo, HI
  • 283 km (176 miles) ESE (122°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.6 km (0.4 miles); depth +/- 1.7 km (1.1 miles)
Parameters Nph= 43, Dmin=14 km, Rmss=0.1 sec, Gp=148°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=2
Source
Event ID hv60459516

Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi Speaks with O’ahu Students on Practicing Peace

As a part of the Pillars of Peace Hawai’i program of the Hawai’i Community Foundation, O’ahu public and private school students were treated to a talk today with Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi at the Neil S. Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall.

All Photos Courtesy of Pillars of Peace

All Photos Courtesy of Pillars of Peace

Before the talk, student entertainers, including Moanalua High School’s Brown Bags to Stardom winner, R.I.S.K.; Castle High School’s Brown Bags to Stardom winner, Ho’okipa; and 12-year-old singer, Ciana Pelekai wowed the crowd with their talents.

Ciana Pelekai

Ciana Pelekai

“In so many countries around the world, citizens are challenging their government’s misuse of power,” said Pam Omidyar, co-founder of the Pillars of Peace Hawai’i program. “Daw Suu reminds us that governance is to be in the service of others, to enable them to be educated, healthy, and work towards their full potential. She has proven, like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and dear Archbishop Tutu, that love and truth can move people more strongly than fear or coercion.”

Pam Omidyar

Pam Omidyar

Aung San Suu Kyi’s speech focused on the theme, “Peace Takes Courage and Compassion.” During her talk she spoke to topics ranging from her imprisonment, her beliefs on peace and compassion, and the importance of the next generation to be leaders in practicing peace. Following her speech, she answered students’ questions selected from submissions prior to the event.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi’s speech focused on the theme, “Peace Takes Courage and Compassion.” During her talk she spoke to topics ranging from her imprisonment, her beliefs on peace and compassion, and the importance of the next generation to be leaders in practicing peace. Following her speech, she answered students’ questions selected from submissions prior to the event.

Aung San Suu Kyi

“Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit is a part of a series of global peace leaders who have visited our islands with the hope that they will take back what they have learned about our culture and their experiences as they work to cultivate a more peaceful society,” said Kelvin Taketa of the Hawai’i Community Foundation. “These leaders see students as being the foundation for building peace in the world. One of the hopes for the Pillars of Peace Hawai’i program is to help give a new generation the tools and inspiration to embrace peace.”

Pierre and Pam Omidyar, Aung San Suu Kyi and Kelvin Taketa

Pierre and Pam Omidyar, Aung San Suu Kyi and Kelvin Taketa. Photo by Pillars of Peace

The public was invited to tune in to a live stream of Aung San Suu Kyi’s student talk today on the Pillars of Peace website. For those who missed the live stream, the talk will be available beginning tomorrow for playback at www.pillarsofpeacehawaii.org.

“The most important thing that I heard was that love is not enough, it’s compassion,” said Ayami Hatanaka, a junior at ‘Iolani School and member of the ‘Iolani Peace Institute. “There are several factors when it comes to not only creating peace, but being cooperative. Humility is the key to being a good leader and a good person.”

Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi

Pillars of Peace Hawai’i, Rotary International, East-West Center, and the Myanmar Association of Hawai’i are co-hosting Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to O’ahu.

 

Kevin Dayton: “…We Discovered A Terrible Injustice”

Many of you know my wife and I are foster parents, which has been one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives, but when we became foster parents we discovered a terrible injustice. State payments to support foster children in Hawaii have been frozen for 22 YEARS.

Nobody meant for this to happen. It happened because there is never enough money to go around, and foster parents and foster kids have no voice at the state Legislature. We urgently need YOU to be their voice.

Click to add testimony

Click to submit testimony

On Tuesday, the Senate Human Services Committee will hold a hearing on Senate Bill 59 to finally increase foster board payments in Hawaii. A link to the hearing notice is pasted below.

Please re-post this to spread the word, and please take a minute to call your legislator or submit a few paragraphs of testimony in support of SB 59. We will need all the help we can get.

The state must provide appropriate support for these kids until they can be placed in safe and loving homes. The state needs to fix this.

If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me.

Mahalo!

Kevin Dayton

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/hearingnotices/HEARING_HMS_01-29-13_.HTM

Congresswomen Hanabusa and Gabbard Comment on 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Mayor Billy Kenoi and Representative Colleen Hanabusa in Washington D.C. (Picture via yfrog)

Mayor Billy Kenoi and Representative Colleen Hanabusa in Washington D.C. (Picture via yfrog)

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa: “Forty years ago, the United States Supreme Court rendered its decision in Roe v. Wade, recognizing a woman’s right to control her own body and placing decisions about reproductive health in the hands of a woman and her doctor, not the government. It was Justice Harry Blackmun, appointed by a Republican president, who wrote for the court, ruling that constitutional principles, not emotion, must speak loudest in determining such important social issues.

“Today, those rights are still under attack, challenged by groups and individuals who would impose their own judgment and beliefs on women across our nation. America is a land of laws and rights, and at our best we defend freedom against the voices of intolerance. Today I stand proudly with women from every corner of our country to celebrate our freedom, to look proudly upon a Constitution that protects our rights, and to give thanks for the laws that respect our individual dignity.”

Tulsi Gabbard, Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa pay their respects to Patsy Mink.

Tulsi Gabbard, Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa pay their respects to Patsy Mink.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: “Forty years ago this month, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s constitutional right to choose in Roe v. Wade. This landmark decision ensures that women can make their own health decisions, and if they want to, consult with their doctor, family, and faith.

“Four decades later, even though abortion remains legal, women still face enormous barriers – barriers that wholly violate the spirit of the Roe v. Wade decision. I support efforts to increase access to affordable health-care services which can contribute to fewer unplanned and teen pregnancies, a goal we should all support.

“This monumental Supreme Court ruling remains under attack, as the ability for women to be free to make what is often the most difficult decision in their lives, is constantly challenged. Now more than ever, we must remain steadfast in our defense of a woman’s right to choose.”

Andy Bumatai – In The Car With Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi (Full Episode)

Andy Bumatai interviews Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi has the drive through Hilo, Hawai’i on one of the most beautiful days.

Bumatai and Kenoi

Sponsored by First Insurance a Hawai’i Insurance Company. Call First Insurance for the best Insurance rates in Hawai’i.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/a075PK7MJ_g]

District of Hawaii… US Marshall Fugitive Investigation List

The following fugitives are listed on the US Marshalls Service District of Hawaii Fugitive Investigation list as of 1/25/13:

Have you seen any of them, click on the picture for more information?

Editors note… some may be in custody or have been found already… this is just the list from the Government site as of today.

LEFRANDT, Frank Jr. Name:  LEFRANDT, Frank Jr.

Offense(s):  Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution.  Original Charge: Sexual Assault, Attempted Sexual Assault.

Date of Warrant:  December 17, 2008

Point of Contact:  U.S. Marshals Service, District of Hawaii at (808) 541-3000


NITTAYANUPA, Pavit Name:  NITTAYANUPA, Pavit

Offense(s):  Violation of Pretrial Release.  Original Charge: Fraud – False Statements on Customs Declaration.

Date of Warrant:  December 13, 2004

Point of Contact:  U.S. Marshals Service, District of Hawaii at (808) 541-3000


ORTIZ, Mauro Martin Name:  ORTIZ, Mauro Martin

Offense(s):  Kidnapping, Sexual Assault

Date of Warrant:  July 10, 2008

Point of Contact:  U.S. Marshals Service, District of Hawaii at (808) 541-3000


OSUNA, Jose Edmundo Name:  OSUNA, Jose Edmundo

Offense(s):  Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine.

Point of Contact:  U.S. Marshals Service, District of Hawaii at (808) 541-3000


TAECHARATANAPRASERT, Arkrin Name:  TAECHARATANAPRASERT, Arkrin

Offense(s):  Failure to Appear.  Original Charge: Fraud – False Statements on Customs Declaration.

Date of Warrant:  April 26, 1991

Point of Contact:  U.S. Marshals Service, District of Hawaii at (808) 541-3000


BANEZ, Benjamin M. Name:  BANEZ, Benjamin M.

Offense(s):  Violation of Supervised Release.  Original Charge: Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine.

Date of Warrant:  May 09, 1996 and January 11, 2005

Point of Contact:  U.S. Marshals Service, District of Hawaii at (808) 541-3000


CASTRO, Eric Name:  CASTRO, Eric

Offense(s):  Violation of Pretrial Release.  Original Charge: Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine.

Date of Warrant:  July 26, 2006

Point of Contact:  U.S. Marshals Service, District of Hawaii at (808) 541-3000


GARCIA, Joslyn G. Name:  GARCIA, Joslyn G.

Offense(s):  Violation of Supervised Release.  Original Charge: Bank Fraud.

Date of Warrant:  July 31, 2007

Point of Contact:  U.S. Marshals Service, District of Hawaii at (808) 541-3000


QUIAMBAO, Bernard Name:  QUIAMBAO, Bernard

Offense(s):  Violation of Pretrial Release.  Original Charge: Conspiracy; Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine.

Date of Warrant:  August 24, 2007

Point of Contact:  U.S. Marshals Service, District of Hawaii at (808) 541-3000


TAUFA, Alifeleti Name:  TAUFA, Alifeleti

Offense(s):  Robbery 1st Degree

Date of Warrant:  March 28, 2000

Point of Contact:  U.S. Marshals Service, District of Hawaii at (808) 541-3000


Adrian BARAHONA Name:  BARAHONA, Adrian

Offense(s):  Narcotics Violations

Date of Warrant:  May 25, 2000

Point of Contact:  DUSM Brent C.L. Naluai at (808) 541-3000


Wen Jun XU Name:  XU, Wen Jun

Offense(s):  Visa Fraud, Filing False Income Tax Returns

Date of Warrant:  December 19, 2000

Point of Contact:  DUSM Roman Buyson at (808) 541-3000


VALENDIA, Christian Name:  VALENDIA, Christian

Offense(s):  Distribution of Methamphetamine

Date of Warrant:  September 10, 2003

Point of Contact:  DUSM Jay Bieber at (808) 541-3000


KIM, Chan Nyun Name:  KIM, Chan Nyun

Offense(s):  Violation of Pretrial Release

Date of Warrant:  May 3, 1999

Point of Contact:  DUSM Tanya Muna at (808) 541-3000


 CABEL,Wilfredo Name:  CABEL, Wilfredo

Offense(s):  Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution.
Original Charge: Murder   ***Use Extreme Caution***

Date of Warrant:  January 24, 1992

Point of Contact:  U.S. Marshals Service, District of Hawaii at (808) 541-3000


NGUYEN, Nancy Name:  NGUYEN, Nancy

Offense(s):  Violation of Pretrial Release.  Original Charge: Wire fraud and Mail Faud

Date of Warrant:  September 20, 2004

Point of Contact:  U.S. Marshals Service, District of Hawaii at (808) 541-3000


TABOR,JAMES CRAIG Name:  TABOR, James Craig

Offense(s):  Violation of Supervised Release

Date of Warrant:  December 13, 2004

Point of Contact:  U.S. Marshals Service, District of Hawaii at (808) 541-3000


KIYOTSUKA, Cheyn Name:  KIYOTSUKA, Cheyn

Offense(s):  Violation of Supervised Release.  Original Charge: Distribution of Methamphetamine

Date of Warrant:  July 05, 2006

Point of Contact:  U.S. Marshals Service, District of Hawaii at (808) 541-3000

Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi Shares Message of Peace with Hawai’i Leaders

Nobel Peace laureate tours Bishop Museum and exchanges ideas with local leaders on the many forms of peace.

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Nobel Peace laureate tours Aung San Suu Kyi tours the Bishop Museum – All Photos Courtesy of Pillars of Peace

Peace leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s first day of events in Hawai’i began today with a visit to the Bishop Museum hosted by Pillars of Peace Hawai’i. The tour of Bishop Museum provided an opportunity for Aung San Suu Kyi to gain a deeper understanding of Hawai’i’s rich culture and history and how these elements have shaped Hawai’i today. Upon her departure, Bishop Museum staff presented her with a special gift — a manele a’e (Hawaiian soapberry) seed lei made by local artist Marques Hanalei Marzan from a tree on the grounds of Bishop Museum.

Aung San Suu Kyi's - Pictures Courtesy of Pillars of Peace

Aung San Suu Kyi also attended a private luncheon at the East-West Center with local leaders. Immediately following the lunch, she participated in a business roundtable discussion, which brought together leaders in Hawai’i’s political and business spheres as they shared ideas on the rule of law, responsible tourism development and government issues. The purpose of the roundtable discussion was to spark dialogue on the roles of compassion, diversity and culture in practicing peace.

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“Having Aung San Suu Kyi participate in a cultural exchange provides all of us with an opportunity to continue to learn from other leaders and places around the world,” said Kelvin Taketa of the Hawai’i Community Foundation. “I was truly honored and humbled to hear her speak and learn from her leadership and unwavering commitment to peace.”

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Pillars of Peace Hawai’i is co-hosting Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit as part of the ongoing Hawai’i Community Foundation initiative, “Pillars of Peace Hawai’i: Building Peace on a Foundation of Aloha,” which launched in April 2012. Other organizations co-hosting Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit include Rotary International, East-West Center and the Myanmar Association of Hawai’i.

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The public is invited to tune in to a live stream of Aung San Suu Kyi’s student talk starting tomorrow at 10:25 a.m. HST on the Pillars of Peace website at www.pillarsofpeacehawaii.org. The talk will also be available for playback after the event.

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Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit is part of the ongoing Hawai’i Community Foundation initiative, “Pillars of Peace Hawai’i: Building Peace on a Foundation of Aloha,” which launched in April 2012 with the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. One of the program’s goals is to bring global peace leaders to Hawai’i to exchange ideas about the many forms of peace that exist here in the islands and around the world. Through these visits, the program hopes to spark dialogue about the roles of compassion, diversity and culture as key components for practicing peace.

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In addition to hosting His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Pillars of Peace Hawai’i has sponsored peace leaders Archbishop Desmond Tutu and John Hunter, founder of the World Peace Game for students. Pillars of Peace Hawai’i is a program funded primarily by the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund of the Hawai’i Community Foundation, a $50 million charitable fund established in 2009 by Hawai’i residents Pierre and Pam Omidyar.

For more information about Pillars of Peace Hawai’i, please visit www.pillarsofpeacehawaii.org. For up-to-date information on Aung San Suu Kyi’s January visit, follow Pillars of Peace Hawai’i on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pillarsofpeace and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PillarsofPeace.

Mechanical Incidents on Boeing Aircraft and Possible Strike Lead Hawaii Legislature to Meet for Informational Briefing

Boeing Informational Briefing

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WHAT: The House Committees on Consumer Protection and Commerce, Labor, and Tourism will be holding a joint informational briefing in response to the recent mechanical incidents of Boeing aircraft and the possibility of a labor strike.

WHEN: Monday, January 28, 2013 at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: Hawaii State Capitol, Conference Room 325

WHY: The recent mechanical incidents and possibility of a labor strike at Boeing has raised a number of potential concerns for the State. Contingency plans to mitigate any impacts on the islands – to include reduction of routes to less trafficked airports, alternative avenues for freight traffic, and the impact of a reduced flight schedule on tourism – will be among the topics of discussion.

WHO: The panel will include House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce Chair Angus McKelvey, Mike McCartney, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Ray Goforth, Executive Director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), members from the House Committees on Consumer Protection and Commerce, Labor, and Tourism. Representatives from Boeing and members of the commercial airline industry servicing Hawaii are also invited.

 

National Park Service Releases Final Plan & EIS for Protecting and Restoring Native Ecosystems by Managing Non-Native Ungulates

The National Park Service (NPS) has released a Final Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (plan/EIS) for Protecting and Restoring Native Ecosystems by Managing Non-Native Ungulates in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Volcanoe EIS

The plan provides a park-wide framework to systematically guide non-native ungulate management activities in a manner that supports long-term ecosystem protection, supports natural ecosystem recovery and provides desirable conditions for active ecosystem restoration. It also supports protection and preservation of cultural resources.

The NPS’s preferred alternative includes a progression of management phases, monitoring, and considerations for the use of management tools; a population objective of zero non-native ungulates, or as low as practicable, in managed areas; complete boundary fencing for Kahuku and ‘Ōla‘a rainforest; and potential use of localized internal fencing to assist in the control of non-native ungulates. Control techniques would be primarily lethal, but non-lethal techniques could also be considered. Volunteer programs would continue, but modifications would be required for lethal removal programs to meet current NPS practices.

The plan/EIS is available online: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/havo_ecosystem_feis. After a required 30-day waiting period following release of the plan/EIS, the NPS will finalize its choice of alternative in a record of decision.

 

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Sites To Help People Claim Earned Income Tax Credit

People who work and earn less than $50,270 from wages, self-employment or farming may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC and free help preparing their tax return. Today, January 25th, marks the 7th National EITC Day, a nationwide effort to increase public awareness about EITC and free tax preparation sites.

Although an estimated four out of five eligible workers and families get the credit, one in five still miss EITC. Either because they don’t claim it when filing, or don’t file a tax return. This is money that can make a difference. Last year, the credit returned close to $62 billion dollars to over 27 million workers. On Hawaii Island, families saved about $180 in filing charges and claimed over $170,000 in federal credits.

Workers who qualify for EITC could receive larger refunds. It can mean up to $475 in EITC for people without children, and up to $5,891 for those with three or more qualifying children.  EITC varies by income, family size and filing status and the average EITC amount last year was $2,200.

With the exception of some disability income, people must work to qualify for EITC. They earned it. Now they must file, claim it and get it.  EITC is a valuable but complex tax break for working families but free help is available from IRS-certified volunteers.

VITAThe following Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Sites are taking appointments:

Hilo

  • Alu Like, Inc., 32 Kino’ole Street, Suite 102, Friday, Feb. 8, 10am-4pm and Sat., Feb. 9, 9am – 4pm Call (808) 961-2625
  • Goodwill Industries of Hawai’i, Inc., 200 Kanoelehua Ave., Suite 101, Thursdays, 4pm-7pm, Start:  2/07 – End:  4/04, Call (808) 443-5838
  • HFS Federal Credit Union, 632 Kino’ole Street, Sat., Feb. 2 and March 16 Only, 10am – 3pm, Call (808) 930-1400
  • Hawai’i First Community Resource Center, Hilo Shopping Center, 1221 Kilauea Ave., Suite 150, Call (808)933-6600

Kona

  • Goodwill Industries of Hawai’i, Inc., 74-5599 Luhia Street, Suite F-4, Thursdays, 4pm – 7pm, Start:  2/07 – End:  4/04, Call (808) 443-5838
  • The Homes of Ulu Wini, 73-4180 Ulu Wini Place, Saturday, Feb. 9 and March 9 Only, 10am – 3pm, Call (808) 933-6065

Waimea

  • Hawai’i First Community Resource Center, Parker Ranch Shopping Center, 67-1187 Mamalahoa Hwy., Call (808) 885-7349

Workers should come prepared to a volunteer site with the following:

  • A valid driver’s license or other photo id card
  • Social security cards, a Social Security number (SSN) verification letter or the Individual Taxpayer Identifying Number (ITIN) for all persons listed on the return
  • Birth dates for all persons listed on return
  • All income statements: Forms W-2 and 1099, Social Security, unemployment, and other statements, such as pensions, stocks, interest and any documents showing taxes withheld
  • All records of expenses, such as tuition, mortgage interest, or real estate taxes
  • Copies of last year’s state and federal tax returns, if available
  • Bank routing numbers and account numbers to direct deposit any refund
  • Dependent child care information: name and address of who you paid and either the caretaker’s SSN or other tax identification number
  • Both spouses to sign forms to e-file (electronically file) a joint tax return

“EITC is a financial boost for working people, and their families and it allows more funds to flow into our community. It’s money that can make lives a little easier,” said Frecia Cevallos, Department of Research and Development.