Coast Guard, NOAA, DLNR Prepare for Return of Humpback Whales to Hawaiian Waters

Crews from the Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the State of Hawaii’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, from the Department of Land and Natural Resources are partnering together to protect humpback whales as they make their annual migration to Hawaiian waters.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Hyde watches as a whale swims underneath a Coast Guard Station Honolulu 47-foot Motor Life Boat in waters west of Molokai, Hawaii, U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Angela

Humpback whale season is generally from November to May with the peak season occurring during the months of January and March. According to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Marine National Sanctuary, whales come to the Hawaiian Islands to mate, calve, and nurse their young. They return to Alaska in the summer months because Hawaii’s waters are relatively nutrient-free and too warm to support enough of the humpback’s food to sustain them year-round. The whales must migrate back to colder water to feed and rebuild their blubber supply.

“It is certainly beneficial to have the Coast Guard, NOAA and DOCARE working together with the same goal of protecting these marine mammals,” said Eric Roberts, the 14th Coast Guard District’s marine mammal response manager. “By combining our resources, we are better prepared to protect this endangered species in a way that helps keep both the animals and Hawaii’s mariners safe.”

The 14th Coast Guard District is home to four marine national monuments and two national marine sanctuaries, more than any other region in the United States. Since the 2009-2010 humpback whale season, the Coast Guard has been conducting Operation Kohola Guardian, a program created to formalize the Coast Guard’s protection of the endangered humpback whale.

Operation Kohola Guardian involves coordinated joint Coast Guard, NOAA and DOCARE patrols of the sanctuary during the peak months of January through March. The Coast Guard aims to protect both the safety of mariners as well as the endangered humpback whales while in the sanctuary by direct communication with boaters.

“We are so fortunate to have the humpbacks visit Hawaii each year,” said Elia Herman, sanctuary co-manager with the DLNR.  “But with that comes added responsibility – and we all need to continue to work together to ensure the laws are followed and both whales and people are protected.”

There are several whale collisions near the Hawaiian Islands every year. Boaters can take proactive measures to ensure their safety as well as the safety of the whales. Keeping a boat’s speed down when whales are known to be in the area is one step mariners can take. Mariners should also maintain a sharp lookout at all times.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Lundy and Seaman Darren Park, both from Coast Guard Station Honolulu, watch as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration members remove line caught on a yearling whale in waters west of Molokai, Hawaii.

Weighing an average of 45 tons, a humpback whale collision with a mariner can be catastrophic. While on routine patrol, Coast Guard boats and air crews scan the area for signs of whales. If whales are sighted crews alert nearby mariners to ensure they remain away. It is illegal to approach within 100 yards of a whale. Aircraft are also prohibited from flying within 1,000 feet of a whale.

“Protecting humpback whales in Hawaii requires the work of multiple agencies. The Coast Guard, NOAA and the state of Hawaii’s DOCARE all play important roles, that when combined, result in better protection for whales in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary,” said Sanctuary Superintendent Malia Chow, from NOAA. “It is truly a multi-agency effort.”

Coast Guard crews conduct sanctuary patrols to ensure boaters and marine life stay safe.

“One of our core missions is the protection of marine mammals, so it’s crucial that we work closely with our federal, state and local partners to ensure that the maritime community is respecting our maritime laws,” said Roberts. “By partnering with NOAA and DOCARE, we’ve been able to increase our presence throughout the Sanctuary.”

The Coast Guard’s efforts to protect humpback whales are not limited to surface patrols. Coast Guardsmen act as first responders to entanglements and other marine mammal distress calls, and they are often the reporting source to NOAA and DOCARE. While on routine patrols, Coast Guard rescue helicopter crews from Air Station Barbers Point sometimes spot distressed marine mammals.

“Coast Guardsmen attend regular training focusing on large whale entanglement response and we are permitted to act on behalf of NOAA in certain circumstances,” Roberts said. “This provides our members with the technical knowledge to assess the extent of the entanglements and attached satellite tracking gear as needed. Additionally, our boat operators receive extensive training on safe approach techniques to limit the risks to both the animals and our response personnel.”

The Coast Guard assists with an average of 12 to 15 whale entanglements each season and transports numerous marine mammals that are in danger to safer locations.

Mariners and citizens are asked to report injured or entangled marine mammals to the Coast Guard on VHF marine band channel 16, or at 808-842-2600, or by contacting the NOAA fisheries hotline at 800-853-1964.

Individuals are invited to continue the conversation at www.Facebook.com/USCGHawaiiPacific.

For more information visit the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Web site at http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/.

And Just Now I Get the Message? The County Should Not Rely on Email to Spread Disaster Information

NEVER RELY ON EMAIL FOR TIMELY INFORMATION (click to enlarge)

Hawaii County Elections: November 1st Update and Information

VOTER REGISTRATION

104,323 Hawaii County residents are registered to vote in the 2012 General Election. This is the official voter registration count for the 2012 General Election and is not subject to change for this election.

ABSENTEE MAIL BALLOTS

As of November 1st, Hawaii County has received 18,221 voted absentee mail ballots.  Voters are reminded that the deadline to submit an absentee mail ballot for the General Election is 6:00 p.m. on November 6, 2012.  Voters are further reminded that absentee mail ballots may be submitted for the General Election by: (1) mailing their ballot to the Hawaii County Elections Division, (2) hand delivering their ballot to the Hawaii County Elections Division office in Hilo, (3) hand delivering their ballot to any absentee/early walk-in voting location in Hilo, Waimea and in Kona, (4) hand delivering their ballot to any precinct on election day, November 6, 2012, no later than 6:00 p.m.

ABSENTEE/EARLY WALK-IN VOTING

On October 23rd, Hawaii County opened absentee/early walk-in voting precincts in Hilo, Waimea and in Kona.  Absentee/early walk-in voting is open to all registered voters at any early walk-in voting precinct on the island, regardless of district or residency assignment.  Absentee/early walk-in voting will continue until November 3, 2012.

As of November 1st, 7,162 Hawaii County voters have voted absentee/early walk-in voting in Hawaii County.

For more information please contact Lehua Iopa, Acting Elections Program Administrator, Hawaii County Elections Division (808) 961-8277 or by electronic mail to eiopa@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Sales Begin at Kamakoa Nui Workforce Housing in Waikoloa: Timeline of Events

The County of Hawai‘i today announced that it will soon begin sales of homes in the Kamakoa Nui workforce housing community in Waikoloa.

The County of Hawai‘i today announced that it will soon begin sales of homes in the Kamakoa Nui workforce housing community in Waikoloa.

In a related announcement, the County will extend Paniolo Avenue from Waikoloa Elementary School to the community and the new Kamakoa Nui Park. The extension will provide a primary route to the park, which will provide ballfields and a skate park to all residents of Waikoloa.

The Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) will begin offering new fee-simple homes to qualified buyers at price points between $235,000 and $350,000. There are no additional costs to ownership such as homeowner’s association dues or community facilities charges. OHCD plans to ask for bids on the first three phases of the project — about 20 homes — by December 2012.

“We’ve had challenges along the way, including a lawsuit that we had to deal with,” said Steve Arnett, Administrator of the County’s Office of Housing and Community Development. “We are so excited about the possibility of now making this an addition to the Waikoloa Village community.”

Ongoing litigation between the County of Hawaii and Unidev LLC, the original developer of Kamakoa Nui, had clouded the title to the property. Although the lawsuits are ongoing, the County of Hawai‘i was informed Monday that title to the property was cleared. This development gave the County the green light to offer homes in Kamakoa Nui for sale.

Those who participated in a 2007 lottery to determine placing on the offering list are being contacted and will have first choice at purchasing a home in Kamakoa Nui. Depending on demand, remaining homes will be offered through another lottery. Those who are able to purchase should be able to move into their homes by next summer.

“It’s exciting! I’m a teacher here at Waikoloa, and it’s exciting to have the possibility of owning a home here in the Village where I teach,” said Larry Denis, a Waikoloa Elementary School teacher who was at today’s announcement and walk-through. “I’m excited to look at the options.”

Homes at Kamakoa Nui are being offered to resident families with household incomes of no more than 140 percent of the area median income. For a family of four, that comes out to $97,440. Additionally, Habitat For Humanity will purchase four lots at Kamakoa Nui. This will allow families with even lower average monthly incomes to be able to afford homes.

“Families will have an opportunity to build equity for their families, for their future,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “It becomes a wiser investment for all of us, and more importantly, it’s an investment in our children and their future.”

Looking toward the future Paniolo Ave. extension

Mayor Kenoi also on Thursday announced that the $3 million first phase of the extension of Paniolo Avenue is expected to be out to bid in December and could be completed as early as the first quarter of 2014. The extension of Paniolo Avenue, from the traffic light near Waikoloa Elementary School to Kamakoa Nui, will create the primary entrance to the community and the park, lessening the impact to those living on Iwikuamo‘o Drive.

“We’re building the road because the community needs it. Although the obligation to construct the road rests with others, we cannot wait for them to resolve who will build it,” said Mayor Kenoi. “So we will build it.”

Timeline of Kamakoa Nui:

  • 2005 – Kamakoa Vistas Workforce Housing project awarded to Unidev LLC of Bethesda, Md. Unidev contracts with the County of Hawai’i’s Office of Housing & Community Development to build 1,200 affordable units, which will be offered leasehold between $350,000 and $475,000, not including monthly $100 association dues and $450 in Community Facilities District fees.
  • 2006 – Unidev secures $6 million in temporary financing from the National Electricians Benefit Fund (NEBF). Unidev partners with Citicorp to finance the entire project.
  • 2007 – County pays off NEBF loan.
  • 2007 – County breaks ground for the project on Dec. 29.
  • 2008 – Citicorp drops out of project during the financial crisis.
  • 2008 – County Council approves $40 million bond float for Kamakoa.
  • 2008 – Waikoloa Workforce Housing LLC established by the county.
  • 2008 – Isemoto Contracting Co. is the low bidder on backbone infrastructure at just under $28 million.
  • 2008 – Unidev does not respond to county, WWH or vendors.
  • 2009 – Under a new administration, County stops payments and sues Unidev citing false and fraudulent claims. County closes WWH.
  • 2010 – OHCD revises business model under the newly branded name of Kamakoa Nui. Price points are now $235,000 to $350,000 for new, fee-simple new homes with no additional fees.
  • 2011 – Site work completed by Isemoto.
  • 2011 – Coastal Construction Co. submits low bid for model homes, which are completed on time and on budget.
  • 2012 – The model homes are furnished by Trans Pacific Interior Design. Aldridge and Associates hired as real estate broker.
  • 2012 – County clears title and announces that sales of homes at Kamakoa Nui are about to begin. County also announces it will extend Paniolo Avenue from the Waikoloa Elementary School to the new Kamakoa Nui Park.

Backwards Was Testing Defense Civil Today’s – Statewide Failed Sirens 40 (Correction More Then That)

Today’s Civil Defense Testing Was Backwards!

Most folks should know by now that the Civil Defense Sirens here on the Big Island get tested on the first day of each month right around 11:45.  Today, those of us that have subscribed to the NIXLE Emergency Alert System got a warning a few minutes ahead of time that WE HAVE NEVER GOTTEN BEFORE:

Thursday November 1st, 2012 :: 05:55 a.m. HST
The Hawaiʻi Police Department reminds the public that the Civil Defense monthly test of the statewide outdoor siren warning system is scheduled for Thursday (November 1) at 11:45 a.m.

Although the siren system is managed by State Civil Defense, the counties provide assistance with maintenance and operation of the warning sirens. On Thursday, Hawaiʻi County police and fire personnel will monitor all 71 sites around the island to provide feedback about whether any sirens need to be repaired or adjusted.

State Civil Defense technicians did conduct maintenance last week on 11 sirens on the Big Island. At that time, all but the one at Laupāhoehoe Point were deemed functional.

During the recent tsunami warning, 40 sirens failed statewide:

Oahu—20
Maui—5
Molokaʻi—1
Kauai—4
Hawaiʻi—10

Where the sirens failed on the Big Island, patrol officers manually warned residents to evacuate by loud speaker.

The siren test, which is coordinated with the test of the live audio broadcast segment of the Emergency Alert System, involves a steady 45-second tone on all sirens. The purpose of the steady tone is to alert the public to any emergency that may pose a threat to life and property. Besides natural and technological hazards, the Emergency Alert System could be used for terrorist incidents or acts of war.

When the siren signal is sounded in your area during an actual emergency, tune to any local radio or television station for emergency information and instructions broadcast by Civil Defense agencies.

During the monthly test, participating stations will carry a detailed explanation of what the sirens mean, as well as other related information.

Tests of State Civil Defense sirens and the Emergency Alert System are conducted simultaneously, typically on the first working day of the month, in cooperation with Hawaiʻi’s broadcasting industry. During the test, State Civil Defense officials remind the public that Civil Defense disaster preparedness information is located in the front section of telephone directories in all counties.

Ok well according to the Nixle web report that was sent out at 5:55 am this morning… Unfortunately if you don’t have a cell phone or don’t do text messages and rely upon E-mail for the notifications… you might not have gotten the warning until much later (See the time I received it via Email)

See the time I got this identical Emergency report circled in red (Click for larger view)

So as you can see the email report that was generated from a Nixle report didn’t get to me until after 4 hours after the initial report.

I also got the following NIXLE report on my phone from the Department of Emergency Management at 8:30 AM however despite having it selected on emails to get an email notice as well… I never got the Email of this notice at all:

This is a reminder that at 11:45 a.m. today the monthly test of the Outdoor Siren Warning System and Live Audio Broadcast in conjunction with Hawaii State Civil Defense will be conducted.

For the purpose of this test you will hear a 45-second steady tone on all sirens. When you hear the steady tone in circumstances other than a test, turn to any radio or television station for essential emergency information and instructions.

During an actual emergency these broadcasts will be heard at frequent intervals and may become continuous if need be.

In addition, residents in areas surrounding Campbell Industrial Park, Honokai Hale, Makakilo, Kapolei Regional Park, Kapolei Golf Course, and the Coast Guard Station at Kalaeloa may also hear a “whooping” tone following the Siren Test. This “whooping” tone is a test of the Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Incident outdoor siren warning group that will be activated in the event of a HAZMAT incident.

NEW! Adopt-A-Siren Smartphone APP: Adopt-A-Siren: http://sirens.honolulu.gov/ Allows users to adopt a tsunami siren in their neighborhood. They will take responsibility for the siren by checking to ensure its functuality and report on the status of the siren to the City. The application also allows users to name their siren and receive an email notification alerting them when the siren will be tested.

Siren Malfunction: If the siren in your community does not sound or does not operate properly please call the Department of Emergency Management at 723-8960 to report it. You can also email the department at dem@honolulu.gov. With more than 170 outdoor warning sirens on Oahu we appreciate the public’s assistance in identifying problem units.

Siren Damage or Vandalism: You can help us to safeguard our Outdoor Siren Warning System. Please report any acts of vandalism, damages, or missing sirens or components to the Department of Emergency Management at 723-8960. You can also email the department at dem@honolulu.gov and include any images you may have of the siren in question. Any suspicious activity should be reported immediately to the Honolulu Police Department by calling 911.

Residents now have the option of reporting malfunctioning or vandalized sirens on-line. Visit the City’s Siren Trouble Report page at http://www3.honolulu.gov/DEMSiren/ to file your report as well as upload pictures.

Remember, important emergency information including evacuation maps can be found in the Hawaiian Telecom and Paradise Pages telephone directories or on our website at www.oahuDEM.org.

In addition all Oahu residents are encouraged to sign-up to receive emergency email and cell phone text messages from the Board of Water Supply, Department of Emergency Management and the Honolulu Police Department by signing up with NIXLE at www.nixle.com/dem Standard text messaging rates may apply depending on your wireless carrier and plan.

Then as I’m driving around doing my job today… all of a sudden I hear a siren around 3:00 or so and I was like… what the heck… I quickly looked to see if I missed any Nixle reports or Emails on my phone and I didn’t see any.

I quit what I was doing for the day and headed home to see if I could figure out why this siren was going off.  Just as I pulled into my driveway… I receive the following Nixle report at 3:20:

The Civil Defense sirens that just sounded were not because of an emergency. The sirens are still being tested.

Now you would think that they would send out a Nixle Report ahead of testing so that folks wouldn’t be so on edge!
Now I just received the following Nixle report and you can count how many failed during the actual 11:45 test today… Unfortunately, as I said before… this test does not account for the Sirens that went off later then other sirens when it was an actual time of emergency.

In response to reports that some Civil Defense emergency sirens failed during the recent tsunami warning, Hawaiʻi County police and fire personnel were tasked with monitoring all 71 sites around the island to provide feedback about which sirens need to be repaired or adjusted.

Although the siren system is managed by State Civil Defense, the counties provide assistance with maintenance and operation of the warning sirens.

The test Thursday determined that 13 sirens are not working properly.

The sirens that did not sound at all or did not sound properly during the 11:45 a.m. monthly test were located at Kawailani Street in Hilo, Pāpaikou, Paauilo, Oʻokala, Hakalau, Laupāhoehoe Point Park, Honokaʻa, Waiaka, Puakō, Kamehameha Park, Kahaluʻu Beach Park, Nāpoʻopoʻo and Makuʻu Avenue in Hawaiian Paradise Park.

A follow-up test was conducted at 3:10 p.m.

Mayor Kenoi authorized immediate repairs in the interest of the public’s safety.

Personnel from State Civil Defense will be on the island of Hawaiʻi on Friday (November 2) to work with personnel from the Police Department’s Radio Shop and begin the repairs.

3.0 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area of Big Island This Morning

Magnitude 3.0
Date-Time
Location 19.378°N, 155.235°W
Depth 3.1 km (1.9 miles)
Region ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII
Distances
  • 8 km (5 miles) S (180°) from Volcano, HI
  • 15 km (9 miles) SW (226°) from Fern Forest, HI
  • 19 km (12 miles) SW (226°) from Eden Roc, HI
  • 39 km (24 miles) WSW (241°) from Hawaiian Beaches, HI
  • 40 km (25 miles) SSW (203°) from Hilo, HI
  • 345 km (214 miles) SE (128°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles)
Parameters Nph= 44, Dmin=1 km, Rmss=0.06 sec, Gp= 76°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=3
Source
Event ID hv60425206

Tsunami Siren Testing Today May Not Validate Actual Emergency Situation

I wonder why I get emergency emails from the county hours after I get them via Hawaii Nixle Emergency Alerts.

The most recent Nixle “EMERGENCY ALERT” paid for with our tax dollars.

Of course I find it funny that the Hawaii County Police Department would use an emergency alert service like Nixel to promote it’s self at times by posting thing like “Police Officer of the Month” on an emergency service.  Lord knows if we as the public used a service like 911 to promote ourselves all hell would break out.

Then again… I didn’t get anything via Nixle the night of the Tsunami Evacuations!

If folks are relying on email for emergency notifications… it may be too late when a real emergency does happen!  I’m gonna depend on myself for notices until the county get’s the kinks worked out.

The Sirens will be tested today with county workers stationed at each siren.

I guarantee they will report that the Pahoa Siren closest to my house is functioning properly (as it always does on the drill days)

I know for a fact that Pahoa’s siren didn’t go off until about 9:15 at night more then two hours after I posted the warning on my site.

Having County workers standing by at these sirens tomorrow won’t prove much I expect…. as I expect my siren to go off as usual during a warning.

WILL IT GO OFF DURING A REAL EMERGENCY?

There was a moral to the story of the boy who called wolf!

Hawaii County Elections Update and Information

VOTER REGISTRATION

104,323 Hawaii County residents are registered to vote in the 2012 General Election. This is the official voter registration count for the 2012 General Election and is not subject to change for this election.

ABSENTEE MAIL BALLOTS

As of October 31st, Hawaii County has received 17,305 voted absentee mail ballots.  Voters are reminded that the deadline to submit an absentee mail ballot for the General Election is 6:00 p.m. on November 6, 2012.  Voters are further reminded that absentee mail ballots may be submitted for the General Election by: (1) mailing their ballot to the Hawaii County Elections Division, (2) hand delivering their ballot to the Hawaii County Elections Division office in Hilo, (3) hand delivering their ballot to any absentee/early walk-in voting location in Hilo, Waimea and in Kona, (4) hand delivering their ballot to any precinct on election day, November 6, 2012, no later than 6:00 p.m.

ABSENTEE/EARLY WALK-IN VOTING

On October 23rd, Hawaii County opened absentee/early walk-in voting precincts in Hilo, Waimea and in Kona.  Absentee/early walk-in voting is open to all registered voters at any early walk-in voting precinct on the island, regardless of district or residency assignment.  Absentee/early walk-in voting will continue until November 3, 2012.

As of October 31st, 6,308 Hawaii County voters have voted absentee/early walk-in voting in Hawaii County.

For more information please contact Lehua Iopa, Acting Elections Program Administrator, Hawaii County Elections Division (808) 961-8277 or by electronic mail to eiopa@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Former Honolulu High School PRINCIPAL Accused of Sex Abuse in Legal Claim

At least five other school employees have been accused, Seattle school officials quietly removed cleric in August, Religious order filed bankruptcy after more than 200 victims came forward, Now, more than 400 say they were abused by Christian Brothers, At least 12 came from Damien Memorial School.

A man who says he was sexually abused by the former principal of a Honolulu high school has filed a sex abuse and cover-up claim in the New York courts.  http://www.king5.com/news/ODea-High-school-principal-resigns-sexual-abuse-allegations-176691111.html

Karl Walczak

The suit charges that the victim, known as John Doe, was sexually abused by Damien Memorial School former principal Br. Karl Walczak in 1971 at Brother Rice High School in Chicago. At the time, Walczak was a teacher at the school. http://www.komonews.com/news/local/ODea-High-School-principal-resigns-amid-sex-abuse-allegations-176692501.html

Walczak is a member of the Irish Christian Brothers, a New York State-based religious order that runs Brother Rice High School and more than a dozen other schools across the country. Walczak was principal at Damien Memorial School from 1987 to 1999.

Walczak is currently the principal of O’Dea High School in Seattle http://www.odea.org/academics/faculty-staff-bios/administrative-team. He was quietly put on leave in August when the lawsuit was filed. In a letter to parents, school officials said that Walczak was “fighting a claim” in the Christian Brothers bankruptcy, but refused to state that he had been accused of sexual abuse in the New York courts. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2012/07_08/2012_08_10_ODeaHighSchool_LETTERFrom.htm

Members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), were appalled to learn that the Christian Brothers had keep quiet about the allegation.

“Parents and students in Hawaii have been duped yet again,” said Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, California, SNAP Western Regional Director. “A brave victim has come forward to the courts to expose the man who abused him. Yet, the Christian Brothers have—at every turn—kept quiet about allegations, misled parents and put more kids at risk because they refuse to come clean about predators in their employ.”

In light of this latest allegation, the groups wants Damien Memorial and diocese officials officials to immediately alert parents, students and alumni about the allegations. “There may be a victim suffering at the school right now,” Casteix said. “Victims need to know that it is safe to come forward and report abuse, because that is the only way to put predators behind bars.”

More than 12 victims from Damien High School have come forward and filed claims. In addition, at least five other known, admitted or arrested predators who worked at the school have been exposed. http://www.staradvertiser.com/newspremium/20120824_Clergy_child_sex_abuse_allegations_arise.html?id=167294085&id=167294085&c=n

Last year, the Irish Christian Brothers declared bankruptcy in light of more than 50 child sex abuse lawsuits in the United States and more than 200 in Canada. http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Mounting-sexual-abuse-claims-causes-US-Christian-Brothers-to-file-for-bankruptcy–121020724.html. The order has also been rocked by sex abuse scandals in Ireland.

In January, the New York Bankruptcy Court set a “bar date” of August 1, 2012, for all victims of Irish Brother predators to expose their abusers in court. More than 400 victims have come forward and filed claims.

According to O’Dea High School. Walczak is currently living in New York. He has also worked in schools in Illinois and California.

The attorney for John Doe is Mike Reck of New York, (714) 742-6593, mreck@andersonadvocates.com.

Seattle press articles:

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/ODea-High-School-principal-resigns-amid-sex-abuse-allegations-176692501.html

http://www.king5.com/news/ODea-High-school-principal-resigns-sexual-abuse-allegations-176691111.html

http://www.nwcn.com/news/washington?fId=176691111&fPath=/home&fDomain=10212

http://theworthyadversary.com/1554-breaking-seattle-principal-removed-for-abuse-parents-not-informed

http://news.silobreaker.com/odea-high-school-principal-resigns-amid-sexual-abuse-allegations-5_2266086944012238907

http://www.q13fox.com/news/kcpq-odea-high-school-principal-resigns-amid-allegations-of-sexual-abuse-20121031,0,2277878.story

Contact:

Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach CA, SNAP Western Regional Director, (949) 322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com

John Schuster of Seattle, WA, SNAP Seattle Leader, 360-551-9982, js98367@hotmail.com

Barb Dorris of St. Louis MO, SNAP Outreach Director, (314) 503-0003, snapdorris@gmail.com

Outrigger Opens Luxury Property on Phi Phi Island, Thailand

The Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort and Spa officially opens this weekend in southern Thailand. As of November 3, the stunning 156-key 70-acre property, formerly known as the Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort and Spa, will be run by Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, the 65-year old Hawaii-based company that continues to expand throughout Asia-Pacific from its regional headquarters in Phuket, Thailand.

Outrigger took over the sales and marketing of the property in October of last year. Since then, extensive improvements have been made, including the addition of 44 new Deluxe Garden Bungalows. Food and beverage venues have been enhanced, and the gym has been improved.

“We have started to implement Outrigger international standards across facilities, food and beverage and human resource services,” said Darren Edmonstone, Managing Director Asia-Pacific for Outrigger. “It’s a completely new era for one of the most beautiful beach resorts in Thailand,” he said.

The new 571 sqf (53 sqm) Deluxe Garden Bungalows are the highlight of the changes. They are located in clusters giving the atmosphere of a traditional Thai village. Inside, the interiors are contemporary with Thai touches. Each one features a walk-in wardrobe, a flat screen television, and iPod/iPhone docking station.

“The new Deluxe Garden Bungalows now give our guests superlative comfort and amenities on a par with the idyllic standards set by Mother Nature all around,” said the property’s General Manager, Marc Landgraf, who was appointed in July.

A new executive chef with extensive luxury hotel experience has also been hired to implement a completely refreshed food and beverage offering. He will bring acclaimed culinary expertise in Thai, French, Italian and Japanese cuisine to the Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort and Spa. His new creations will be available in the resort very soon.

The property already wins consistent accolades on TripAdvisor. The unique location in a quiet peninsula of northeast Phi Phi allows guests to step from the resort right on to a nearly half-mile (800-metre) white sand beach with translucent sea water. Outrigger guests can enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, private boat excursions, fishing and a full spa facility.

“Guests seeking a wonderfully unique beach setting in Thailand with high quality international standards of service and comfort, should take a new look at what we offer on Phi Phi Island with Outrigger,” said Landgraf.

A 360-degree virtual tour of the new Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort and Spa is available here.

 

 

Big Island Police Searching for 22-Year-Old Wanted on Five Warrants

Big Island police are searching for a 22-year-old Puna man wanted on five $5,000 warrants.

Justin Gryde

Justin Gryde of Pāhoa is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-10, 190 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. He has a tattoo with the name “Gryde” on his neck.

Detectives also want to speak with him in connection with a burglary.

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

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.

Local Artist Commissioned to Create Posters Commemorating Sainthood of Mother Marianne Cope

Standing in front of Bishop Home where she ministered to girls and women suffering from Hansen’s disease, Saint Marianne Cope has been honored in a new work of art commissioned by Pacific Historic Parks (PHP).

The just-released 12” x 18” poster commemorates Saint Marianne’s canonization, which took place on October 21. It was designed by O‘ahu artist Nick Kuchar and uses a combination of rich hues, shapes and text to create a unique retro look.

“Saint Marianne’s canonization is an incredible event that holds so much meaning to our local community,” said Brad Wallis, President and CEO of Pacific Historic Parks. “We felt it was important to commission a local artist who would understand the historical significance of this event and be able to tell the story of Saint Marianne through the use of art.”

The poster is available exclusively at PHP’s Kalaupapa National Historical Park Bookstore and online at www.pacifichistoricparksbookstore.org. PHP, a cooperating association that assists the National Park Service (NPS), supports the education, preservation, development and interpretation of four historic sites throughout the Pacific. Proceeds from the sale of the Saint Marianne poster will support education and research at Kalaupapa NHP.

“The support we receive from Pacific Historic Parks plays an integral role in our ability to maintain the historical integrity of our national parks, including Kalaupapa National Historical Park,” said Steve Prokop, NPS Superintendent at Kalaupapa NHP. “Our partnership with PHP helps us to meet our mission of preserving the natural and cultural resources of our parks and to educate visitors on the historical significance of each site. Saint Marianne’s interpretive poster is a perfect example of how this partnership allows us to share her story with the world.”

In 1888, Saint Marianne established Bishop Home for women and girls in Kalaupapa, a small community located on Moloka‘i’s northern peninsula where Hansen’s disease patients were sent to live in isolation from 1866-1969. Saint Marianne spent 35 years helping these patients and lived on Moloka‘i until her death in 1918. The National Park Service and Hawai’i State Department of Health now manage the area.

Pacific Historic Parks also commissioned Kuchar to create a poster honoring Saint Damien, who was canonized in 2009. According to Kuchar, “I feel extremely honored and blessed to be able to create one-of-a kind tributes to these two great humanitarians in Hawai’i.”

For more information on the Saint Marianne poster, contact Sarah Safranski, Communications and Publications Manager, Pacific Historic Parks at ssafranski@pacifichistoricparks.org or visit www.pacifichistoricparksbookstore.org.

Hawaii Island’s Most Wanted for November

The most recent edition of the Crime Stoppers television program “Hawaiʻi Island’s Most Wanted” highlights a 42-year-old man suspected of three thefts from elderly victims and two men wanted on bench warrants.

The new episode begins airing Friday (November 2).

In it, police ask for the public’s help in locating 42-year-old Nicholas Stevens, who is suspected of contacting elderly women at their homes in Hilo and Kona, persuading them to hire him to repair their driveways, collecting money in advance and then failing to complete the jobs.

Nicholas Stevens

He is described as 5-foot-9, 166 pounds and balding, with a thin build and a tan complexion. He may be in Hilo or Kona.

The television program also asks for help in locating a 27-year-old man wanted on three bench warrants. Albert Aukai Manners is wanted on a $15,000 contempt of court warrant for failing to appear in court for a hearing on eight criminal charges, including driving under the influence and assaulting a police officer.

Albert Aukai Manners

He is also wanted on no-bail warrants for violating terms of release on bail in an assault case and a domestic abuse case. He is described as 5-foot-8, 155 pounds with brown eyes and short black hair. He has numerous tattoos on his neck and chest. His address is unknown.

In this latest edition of “Hawaiʻi Island’s Most Wanted,” Officer Patrick Menino also asks for help locating a Kaʻū man wanted on four bench warrants with bail totaling $200,000. Mario A. Espino is wanted for contempt of court and violating terms of probation relating to convictions for theft and auto theft.

Mario A. Espino

He is described as Hispanic, 5-foot-2, 130 pounds with brown hair, brown eyes and tattoos on his arms and back. He is most likely in the Ocean View area.

Police ask that anyone with information about any of these cases call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential. Crime Stoppers does not tape record phone calls or subscribe to caller ID.

“Hawaiʻi Island’s Most Wanted” is a project of Crime Stoppers Hilo, Inc., which is a partnership of the business community, the media and the police. It was inspired by the national TV show, “America’s Most Wanted.” The program airs on Na Leo O Hawaiʻi Community Television Channel 54 on Sundays at 5 p.m. and Fridays at 5:30 p.m. It also airs intermittently on Channel 53.

Public Hearing on Bill No. 292 – Restricting Geothermal Hours

The Hawaii County Council is having a public hearing on Bill No. 292 which would restrict geothermal exploratory and production drilling to the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  The public will be allowed up to 3-minutes to provide testimony.

Pahoa Neighborhood Facility

The public hearing is on Friday, November 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm in the Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility.  For more information, please call Chairman Yagong at 961-8538.

 

30-Year-Old Woman Dies in South Kona Vehicle/Pedestrian Collision

A 30-year-old woman from Honaunau died Tuesday (October 30) after being involved in a motor vehicle/pedestrian collision on Highway 11 in the area of the 107-mile marker in South Kona.

Jasmin Robertson

The woman was identified as Jasmin K. Robertson of a Honaunau address.

Responding to a 6:38 p.m. call, traffic investigators determined that the woman, who appeared to be intoxicated, had been sitting on the northbound lane of the highway when she was struck by a 2003 BMW two-door sedan that was traveling north and being operated by a 50-year-old Captain Cook man.

Fire Department rescue personnel took the woman to Kona Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 7:15 p.m.

The driver of the vehicle was wearing seatbelt and was not injured.

It is unknown at this time if speed, alcohol or drugs were involved on part of the driver but the woman had been drinking.

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

Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to call Officer Larry Flowers at 326-4646, extension 229.

This is the 36th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared to 18 at the same time last year.

Lance Armstrong Kicking It in Hawaii

Well TMZ is reporting that Lance Armstrong is in Hawaii and I just checked his twitter account and it does appear that he is here now:

Despite all the recent controversy, Lance Armstrong got back on his bike and pedaled around Hawaii while on vacation. His life just seems to keep getting worse and worse, right?

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

I wonder if he’s staying on the Big Island like he normally does?

Raw, Fermented Foods Workshop Nov. 10

Probiotic, Lacto-fermented. What’s it all mean?

Find out how tasty fermented and raw foods can contribute to wellness at a three-hour, cutting-edge workshop Saturday, Nov. 10 at Island Naturals Market and Deli-Kailua.

Benjamin Cohn, fermented and raw food specialist at Honaunau’s Dragonfly Ranch, discusses “Raw and Ferment Foods: Their Role in Healing, Health and Well-being” 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The informative program includes a raw food lunch and admission is by donation. Registration is at 9:45 a.m.; coffee and tea will be served.

The workshop is presented by the Women’s Federation for World Peace-Hawaii. WFWP is a global organization that empowers women with knowledge, skills and supportive community to learn their unique value and bring lasting peace. It is co-sponsored by The Pacific Rim Education Foundation (PREF) and Hawaiian Queen Coffee Company.

The workshop will explain the benefits of raw, “living” food and share why fermented foods can improve digestion through a balancing of bacteria and enzymes. Cole will detail the important connection between fermented foods and vitamin B12 and delve into sprouting food and the proper use of kitchen tools during food preparation. He will also demonstrate how to prepare raw and fermented foods in a tasty and appealing way so they can be easily integrated into your lifestyle.

Reservations are appreciated to Betsy, 808-987-6510 or wfwp.kona@gmail.com. Island Naturals is located at 74-5487 Kaiwi Street in the Old Industrial Area.

PREF: The Pacific Rim Education Foundation sponsors educational programs, funds charitable activities and supports practices that nurture love, wisdom and peace within individuals and families, which promote understanding and connectedness among communities, and which foster wise care for the Earth. PREF is funded by the Hawaiian Queen Coffee Company (HQC); the Unification Church, founded by the late Reverend Sun Myung Moon; and by individual donors. For information, visit www.prefpeace.org or email PrefPeace@gmail.com.

 

County of Hawai‘i Non-Profit Grants Informational Meetings

Councilmember Brittany Smart will host informational meetings for all non-profits (must be 501c3) interested in applying for a grant from the County of Hawai‘i to discuss recent Hawai‘i County Code changes and how it will affect the application process.

A representative from the Department of Finance will be available to assist in explaining the code changes from Bill 287, Draft 3 (passed October 2012). All completed applications must be submitted and received by the Department of Finance by 4:30pm on Thursday January 31, 2013.

The meetings will be November 15th at 10:00AM in Hilo at the County of Hawai‘i Council Chambers (25 Aupuni Street) and November 16th at 10:00AM in Kona at the West Hawai‘i Civic Center, Building G (74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy).

Any questions, please call Jenny at (808) 961-8536 or email district6@co.hawaii.hi.us.

 

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 47-Year-Old Puna Man

Big Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating a 47-year-old Puna man who was reported missing.

Robert Allen Park

Robert Allen Park is described as Hawaiian, about 5-foot-7, about 230 pounds with a stocky build, a bald head, brown eyes and a tan complexion. He may be in need of medical attention.

He was last seen around 2:30 p.m. on October 22 at a home on Pikake Street in Mountain View.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts contact Detective Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or nserrao@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.

Commentary on Tsunami Sirens by Councilman Pete Hoffmann – “The Sounds of Silence”

Councilman Pete Hoffman

Councilman Pete Hoffmann

Last Saturday evening, we were visited once again by a frequent, if not welcomed, visitor, i.e. the threat of a tsunami. This was the third such event in the past 32 months and permitted island residents and agencies to participate in what is fast becoming an island staple, “the annual evacuation drill”. Fortunately, the threat remained exactly that. Some Saturday night festivities and events were cancelled or curtailed, many took to the roads seeking higher ground, others raced to the gas stations and local markets to ‘top off’ or stock-up (on what I’m not certain??), evacuation centers were opened, and in general residents displayed a growing non-chalance that is becoming part of the fabric of life on an island in the Pacific Ocean.

For the most part, our County first responders, Civil Defense, CERT volunteers and others performed with a degree of professionalism that comes from repeated ‘drills’. There will always be problems of some kind, and glitches will occur no matter how often the system is exercised. However, I agree with Mayor Kenoi when he notes that County personnel accomplished tasks in an outstanding fashion.

So am I the only one who remains concerned about our preparedness? In the rush to ‘pat ourselves on the back for a job well done’ I continue to question why considerable portions of our coastline with sizeable developments do not have any tsunami sirens. Why is it that after two previous tsunamis, some resort areas do not have a single siren in place? Didn’t we stress this danger last year and the year before?? Didn’t it take some legislative arm-wrestling to convince County officials that some zoning regulations need to be introduced to insure residents in those areas, most vulnerable to a tsunami have sufficient warning? Wasn’t the County supposed to follow-up with State officials to insure this situation doesn’t happen? Doesn’t this fall within the public health and safety mandates of our County government?? Despite the obvious dangers, Tsunami #3 came and there remain too many built up areas that lack a siren capability.

Do not misunderstand. A functioning siren system may not be the only or even the best warning capability. It takes, I believe, a combination of several components to provide our residents an effective early warning structure. My fear is that for some on our island, particularly along our coastlines, a siren is a critical ingredient that must be operational to provide the broad coverage so necessary for public safety. The silence along some portions of our coast is truly deafening.

Consider for a moment the timeframe involved: the February 2010 event allowed us 13+ hours lead time. The March 2011 event permitted us a seven hour warning. Last Saturday’s exercise cut that time to three hours. Does anyone see a pattern here?? My concern is that the next event may allow the County perhaps one hour or less to evacuate large numbers of people from our coastline. And knowing that our luck may finally run out, it will be in the dead of night when the visitor count is high and our snow-birds are here.

Before we “pat ourselves on the back” too much, we must return to basics. We are not as prepared as we think we are if sirens remain absent from many vulnerable areas. We are fooling ourselves if we think we are ready. We must make this deficiency a persistent and vocal objective of our County government now, not in the short-term, but immediately. Enough talk and promises. Solutions are required now and if sirens are lacking, some effective alternative must be put in place. This public health and safety shortfall cannot be permitted to exist when our next “annual tsunami drill” occurs. The sounds of silence must not continue.

Pete Hoffmann