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Big Island Police Searching for Missing 35-Year-Old Puna Woman

12/1/14 UPDATE: Hawaiʻi Island police have located 35-year-old Misty Fuga of Keaʻau who was reported missing. She returned to her Hawaiian Paradise Park home unharmed Friday night (November 28).

Hawaiʻi Island Police are searching for a 35-year-old Puna woman who was reported missing.

Misty Fuga

Misty Fuga

Misty Fuga was last seen in Hawaiian Paradise Park by her family on Wednesday evening (November 26). Her family is concerned about her safety.

She is described as a Hawaiian, about 5-foot-6, about 130 pounds with brown eyes and long brown hair. She was last seen wearing a pink hooded sweatshirt.

Police ask that anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Dean Uyetake at 961-2379 or duytetake@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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

Coast Guard Continues Search for Missing Boater

The Coast Guard is continuing its search today for a missing boater who placed a mayday call Thursday at 8:03 a.m. saying his vessel was taking on water and in danger of sinking 46 miles west of Kailua-Kona.

HC-130 Hercules

HC-130 Hercules

The Coast Guard has identified the mariner as 67-year-old Ron Ingrahm and is believed to be the sole person aboard the 25-foot sailing vessel Malia which departed Kaunakakai Harbor, Molokai, to Manele Bay, Lanai.

A friend of Ingram called Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center Friday and sited Tuesday as the last time he spoke with him.

Currently searching are an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point. The 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Ahi is no longer part of the search due to sever weather.

Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu Command Center received a mayday call over VHF radio channel 16 from a distressed mariner at 8:03 a.m. Thursday. The mariner reported flooding on his boat and provided a GPS position approximately 46 miles west of Kailua-Kona near Alenuihaha Channel before communications were lost.

Current on scene weather conditions are 35-mile per hour winds with eight to 15-foot seas.

Roy’s Restaurants to be Sold

Bloomin’ Brands, Inc., has announced an agreement for the sale of all of its interests in the Roy’s concept, including 20 company-owned restaurants, to United Ohana, LLC, a new company formed by Sunil Dharod. Dharod, President and Chief Executive Officer of Apple Texas and Apple Houston, is the owner and operator of 69 Applebee’s restaurants in Texas. The transaction is expected to close in the next 30-60 days.

roysRoy’s joined the Bloomin’ Brands portfolio in 2000. Roy’s was founded in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1988 by Chef Roy Yamaguchi and has become well-known for its Pacific Rim Cuisine – featuring the freshest local ingredients, European sauces and bold Asian spices with a focus on seafood. There are 29 Roy’s locations around the world – 21 in the continental United States, six in Hawaii, one in Japan and one in Guam.

Lazard acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Bloomin’ Brands on the sale of Roy’s.

Coast Guard Seeking Public’s Assistance Locating Vessel in Distress off Kona

The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s assistance after receiving a mayday call from a mariner in distress approximately 46 miles west of Kailua-Kona Thursday.

Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu Command Center received a mayday call over VHF radio channel 16 from a distressed mariner at 8:03 a.m. The mariner reported flooding on his small boat and provided a GPS position before communications were lost.

HC-130 Hercules

HC-130 Hercules

An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew launched at 8:30 a.m. from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point.

The crews arrived on scene and began searching. The Hercules crew dropped a self-locating datum marker buoy to track the currents and assist in plotting a search area.

Current on scene weather conditions are 40-mile per hour winds, 20 foot seas and clear visibility.

The description of the vessel and number of people aboard are unknown.

Anyone with information that could assist in identifying the mariner in distress, the vessel, or voyage plan should contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.

Hawai’i County Inaugural Ceremonies Set For Dec. 1

The Inaugural Ceremonies will be held for the newly elected members of the Hawai‘i County Council on Monday, December 1, 2014, at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo at 12 noon. The public is invited to attend.

2014 inauguration invite

Sherry Bracken of Hawai‘i Public Radio will serve as Master of Ceremonies. The Honorable Judge Ronald Ibarra will administer the Oath of Office to the newly elected council members, and the Honorable Mayor Billy Kenoi will serve as keynote speaker.

The Office of the County Clerk extends a warm welcome to the public to attend this special event.

Big Island Police Searching for Kona Man Who Requires Medication

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 27-year-old Kailua-Kona man who was reported missing.

David Twigg-Smith

David Twigg-Smith

David Twigg-Smith was last seen by his family on October 10 in Kailua-Kona. He has a medical condition that requires medication.

He is described as 5-foot-11, 185 pounds with curly brown hair and brown eyes. He may have a beard.

He frequents beach areas in Kona.

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

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

Big Island Police Investigating Armed Assault in Volcano

Hawaiʻi Island police have initiated assault and terroristic threatening cases in connection with a confrontation early Sunday (November 23) at a home in Volcano.

At 4:16 a.m. Sunday, Puna Patrol officers responded to a report of a possible burglary in progress at a home on the 11-3700 block of Aliʻi Anela Street in the Royal Hawaiian Estates subdivision.

alii

When police arrived, a 25-year-old man reported that someone had banged on his door. When the victim opened the door, an unknown man holding what appeared to be a firearm charged toward him and they began fighting. During the struggle, the victim was punched. A 20-year-old woman who tried to intervene also was punched.

The suspect then ran toward the road, where he met another man who fled with him. Shortly thereafter, a vehicle was heard speeding away.

The assailant was described as local, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 with a heavy build and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, which was partially covering his face.

Both victims declined medical treatment.

Police ask anyone with information about this case to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 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.

Reopening of Pahoa Village Road Begins Tomorrow

This is an eruption and lava flow information update for Sunday November 23rd at 8:00AM.

This morning’s assessment shows that the upslope breakouts remain active.  The breakouts are located approximately 3.6 miles upslope of the Apa’a Street area and consist of surface breakouts and breakouts along the edges or margins of the flow pad.  Presently, all breakout activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities and the flow activity will continue to be monitored.

Residents in the down slope areas will be kept informed of any changes and the flow status and advancement.

The Pahoa Village Road between Apa’a Street and the Post Office Road will remain closed and limited to area residents only.   Access to the businesses and commercial areas of the Pahoa town can be made through the Pahoa Village Road at the intersection of Highways 130 and 132 and the Post Office Road.  We apologize for any inconvenience the road closure may be presenting with and remind everyone that the Pahoa town center and businesses are open and accessible.

Pahoa Village Road

The reopening of the Pahoa Village Road will be initiated starting tomorrow Monday November 24th and may take a few days to complete.  Utility crews will begin to remove the protection placed around the utility poles and this work will require the road to remain closed while equipment is operating in the area.

Civil Defense and public safety personnel will continue to maintain close observations of flow activity.

Additional updates will be posted as conditions change.

We would like to thank everyone for your patience and understanding and your  cooperation and assistance is greatly appreciated.

Thermal Images Shows Pahoa Not Out of Danger Yet

This satellite image was captured today by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see.

Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.  (Click to enlarge)

Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds. (Click to enlarge)

Although the farthest tip of the June 27th lava flow, in Pāhoa, is stalled, this image shows that breakouts remain active upslope.

These breakouts are focused in two areas. First, there is a breakout about 4 km (2.5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Second, breakouts are active in the area of ground cracks farther downslope.

The farthest tip of these breakouts has advanced a short distance north over the past day and was 5.8 km (3.6 miles) upslope of Apaʻa St. as measured along a straight line.

State Receives Judgement Against Modeling/Talent Agency – Company Ordered to Pay Restitution, $50,000 Fine

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ (DCCA) Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) announced today that it obtained a judgment against JRP International, Inc., dba John Robert Powers, to resolve allegations that the company failed to comply with Hawaii’s door-to-door sales law.

John Powers Agency

The complaint and judgment filed in Hawaii state court alleges that in October 2012, John Robert Powers, a mainland company, advertised on local radio stations soliciting people to attend a pre-screening talent-search audition being held at a Waikiki hotel. At the conclusion of the audition, parents paid the company substantial sums of monies to have their children attend training classes consisting of five rehearsals and one agent showcase.

OCP’s complaint alleged that the company violated Hawaii’s door-to-door sales law by failing to verbally inform these parents of their right to cancel the contract within three (3) business days of the transaction, and failing to include in its contract the written Notice of Cancellation language as required by HRS §481C-2.

“This action highlights the importance of Hawaii’s door-to-door sales law,” said OCP’s Executive Director Bruce B. Kim.“Consumers should exercise caution before signing contracts at any high-pressure sales event, whether it occurs at your home or in a hotel. Take the time to ask the salesperson to explain your cancellation rights and read the cancellation rights in the contract before signing.”

OCP was awarded $3,800 in restitution on behalf of an injured consumer, along with fines and penalties of $50,000 against the company.

The judgment also included injunctive relief against the company, requiring that it:

  • Furnish buyers with a fully completed receipt or copy of a contract pertaining to door-to-door sales, which contains all the information required by law
  • Furnish buyers with duplicate copies of the Notice of Cancellation form required by law
  • Include any copies of the Notice of Cancellation form, including all information required by law regarding the Notice of Cancellation in the specific format required by law
  • Verbally inform each buyer at the time the buyer signs the contract or purchases the goods or services, of the buyer’s right to cancel
  • Not misrepresent in any manner the buyer’s right to cancel
  • Honor any valid of notice of cancellation by a buyer
  • Promptly refund all payments made under the contract or sale after receipt of a timely notice of cancellation.

Consumers and businesses involved in door-to-door type sales as defined in HRS§ 481C-1 are advised that businesses are required to verbally inform consumers of their right to cancel the contract within three (3) business days and must also include in its contract the required Notice of Cancellation language as described in HRS § 481C-2.

A “door-to-door sale” is defined as:

  • A sale of goods or services solicited in person and signed by the buyer at a place other than the seller’s business address shown on the contract;
  • A sale of goods or services solicited in person or by mail or telephone; or
  • A public or private notice or advertisement if the solicitation includes an offer of a gift, prize premiums, stamps, coupons, tickets or other redeemable devices as an inducement for the person solicited or a member of the person’s immediate family to go to the seller’s place of business, whether the buyer signs at the seller’s place of business or elsewhere.

Businesses are advised that failing to comply with the door-to-door sales law may render the contract unenforceable.

Anyone who believes that they may have signed a contract involving a door-to-door type sale, and who believes they were not verbally informed and/or signed a contract that failed to provide the required written notice that they had the right to cancel their contract within three (3) business days of the transaction may file a complaint with the Office of Consumer Protection. Information about filing a complaint is available on the OCP’s website at

http://cca.hawaii.gov/ocp/consumer-complaint/or by calling the Consumer Resource Center at 587-4272 on Oahu or toll free from the Neighbor Islands at the following numbers:

  • Kauai                           274-3141x 74272
  • Maui                            984-2400 x 74272
  • Big Island                   974-4000 x 74272
  • Molokai &Lanai        1 (800) 468-4644 x 74272

Coast Guardsman Convicted of Lewd Act on Minor

A Coast Guardsman was convicted of committing a lewd act on a minor and other violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice during a general court-martial at the United States District Court – District of Hawaii Thursday.

Petty Officer 1st Class Shane E. Reese was found guilty of Article 120b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for committing a lewd act on a minor on the Island of Oahu between January and May 2013.

Reese was also found guilty of Article 134 for threats to the victim, Article 107 for making false official statements during the course of the investigation, and Article 112a for wrongful possession, distribution and use of marijuana.

He was sentenced to five years confinement in a military brig, a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and a reduction to paygrade E-1, the military’s lowest enlisted grade.

While awaiting court-martial, Reese served at Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point as an aviation maintenance technician and was assigned to the unit at the time of the offenses.

According the the Coast Guard Facebook page:

Petty Officer 1st Class Shane E. Reese was found guilty of Article 120b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for committing a lewd act on a minor on the Island of Oahu between January and May 2013.
Reese was also found guilty of Article 134 for threats to the victim, Article 107 for making false official statements during the course of the investigation, and Article 112a for wrongful possession, distribution and use of marijuana.

He was sentenced to five years confinement in a military brig, a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and a reduction to paygrade E-1, the military’s lowest enlisted grade.
While awaiting court-martial, Reese served at Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point as an aviation maintenance technician and was assigned to the unit at the time of the offenses.

Lava Breakouts Remain Active Around Ground Crack System and Well Site

The farthest downslope breakouts today are still situated around the ground crack system, near the abandoned well site. The front of these breakouts was about 500 m (0.3 miles) northeast of the well site, and about 1.9 km (1.2 miles) west of Kaohe Homesteads.

These breakouts were covering the existing flow and burning forest on its margins.  (Click to enlarge)

These breakouts were covering the existing flow and burning forest on its margins. (Click to enlarge)

Much of the active lava was covering the existing flow around the ground crack system, with small portions entering the forest at the flow margins.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The activity in the forest triggered brush fires and frequent methane explosions.

An HVO geologist examines a ground crack into which lava was pouring near the flow margin, producing large amounts of steam.  Click to enlarge

An HVO geologist examines a ground crack into which lava was pouring near the flow margin, producing large amounts of steam. Click to enlarge

Nominations Sought For The Hawaii Big Tree Competition

The holiday season marks the beginning of the annual Hawaii Big Tree Competition.  Sponsored by the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife and American Forests, the program focuses attention on the largest trees in each species, as a way to raise awareness about the importance of healthy trees and forests.

In 2014, a coconut palm in Hawaii Kai, Coco, was crowned the national Big Tree winner and the National Ultimate Big Tree after several weeks of online voting.

In 2014, a coconut palm in Hawaii Kai, Coco, was crowned the national Big Tree winner and the National Ultimate Big Tree after several weeks of online voting.

The Hawai‘i Big Tree Competition does not have a champion for the following Hawaiian species that are eligible for the National Big Tree Program.  Therefore, any tree nominated from the following list will likely be crowned a champion.

Big Tree

The 10 current Hawai‘i champions are listed below. To replace a current champion, the challenger tree must have more total points.  Total Points = Trunk Circumference (inches) + Height (feet) + ¼ Average Crown Spread (feet).

  • Niu (Cocos nucifera) in Hawea Heiau Complex and Keawawa Wetland, O‘ahu
    (Circumference: 13.5) (Height: 112) (Crown Spread: 16.42)
  • Wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis) in Waikoloa Dry Forest, Hawai‘i Island
    (Circumference: 186.96) (Height: 40) (Crown Spread: 43.50)
  • Olopua (Nestegis sandwicensis) in Pu‘u wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve, Hawai‘i Island  (Circumference: 204.52) (Height: 32) (Crown Spread: 42.58)
  • Pāpalakēpau (Pisonia brunoniana) in Pu‘u wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve, Hawai‘i Island (Circumference: 52.46) (Height: 28) (Crown Spread: 15.25)
  • Māmane (Sophora chrysophylla) in Pu‘u wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve, Hawai‘i Island (Circumference: 165) (Height: 24) (Crown Spread: 25.5)
  • Kōlea lau nui (Myrsine lessertiana) in Pu‘u wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve, Hawai‘i Island (Circumference: 85.14) (Height: 32) (Crown Spread: 25.5)
  • Koa (Acacia koa) in Kona Hema Preserve, South Kona, Hawai‘i Island
    (Circumference: 343) (Height: 115) (Crown Spread: 93)
  • Hau (Hibiscus tiliaceus) in Hulihe‘e Palace, Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i Island
    (Circumference: 110) (Height: 20) (Crown Spread: 25)
  • A‘ali‘i (Dodonaea viscosa) in Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, Hawai‘i Island
    (Circumference: 23) (Height: 17) (Crown Spread: 16)
  • Mānele (Sophora chrysophylla) in Volcanoes National Park, Hawai‘i Island
    (Circumference: 30) (Height: 73) (Crown Spread: 57)

To nominate a tree, contact Hawai‘i Big Tree coordinator Kylee Ah Choy at (808) 587-0164 and provide the tree height, trunk circumference, and average crown spread.  Also, please know your tree’s specific location (GPS coordinates are appreciated).

Big Tree Madness 1 from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

For more on the Hawaii Big Tree Program: dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/info/big-tree/
For more on the National Big Tree Program: www.americanforests.org/bigtrees/bigtrees-search/

42 Children Adopted into Local Families on National Adoption Day

On National Adoption Day, November 21, 2014, the First Circuit Family Court finalized the adoptions of 42 children at the Ronald T. Y. Moon Judiciary Complex in Kapolei. The children, ranging in age from 4 months and older, were adopted into 40 families from across Oahu.

42 Children Adopted into Local Families on National Adoption Day

42 Children Adopted into Local Families on National Adoption Day

Senior Family Court Judge R. Mark Browning presided over the hearings to finalize adoptions all day today and Judges Bode Uale, Paul Murakami, Jennifer Ching, Catherine Remigio, and Lanson Kupau devoted their afternoon calendars to preside over the adoptions.

The children being adopted vary in age and come from diverse ethnic, linguistic, and economic backgrounds. Adoptive parents from diverse backgrounds do not have to be married, wealthy, or have a specific education or background.

“We celebrate and honor those who have opened their hearts and families to children who need a permanent home.  It’s a celebration of love and testament to the goodness of our community.  As judges, it is a privilege to be able to be able to be part of this joyful event,” said Judge Browning.

U.S. Air Force Pilot to Head Hawaii DOE Facilities and Support Services Branch

The Hawaii State Board of Education today confirmed U.S. Air Force executive and fighter pilot, Dann S. Carlson, to head the Hawaii State Department of Education’s (DOE) Office of School Facilities and Support Services. As an assistant superintendent, Carlson will bring more than 25 years of diverse active duty leadership experience to the DOE.

Dann Carlson

Dann S. Carlson

“While this job will be full of incredible challenges, it is obvious that the DOE is making measurable improvements in educating our next generation,” stated Carlson. “I’ve always had a desire to directly influence our nation’s future leaders through education. This position within the DOE allows me the opportunity to make an impact in a way that I never could have imagined. It is truly an honor.”

Carlson has a record of success in leading visionary work through organizational change. He will be leaving his position at the Pentagon as the special assistant to the under secretary of international affairs and will start with the DOE on December 1.

From 2011 to 2013, Carlson was the deputy joint base commander at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam. He led more than 900 Air Force personnel in six squadrons: civil engineering, security forces, contracting, communications, logistics and force support. He also led operations for more than 1,100 Navy personnel and civilians providing base and operating support on an installation that serviced over 80,000 personnel, spanned 35,000 acres, with an annual budget of over $500 million and a plant replacement value of over $18 billion. During his tenure he spearheaded a complete organizational change to a Navy led Joint Base while still garnering the top rank of 77 Navy installations.

“In addition to his responsibilities of running the day to day operations of a large military base, Dann was actively involved with education,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We are excited to welcome him to our team.”

Carlson was a board member for the Joint Venture Education Forum, a member of the Interstate Compact for Military Children, served on the Blue Ribbon Schools Commission and was very active at Radford High School where his three children attended, one of whom graduated as valedictorian.

Aside from his various leadership roles in the military, Carlson also served as mission commander and fighter pilot. He was an advance pilot and narrator for the USAF Thunderbirds at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

The DOE’s Office of School Facilities and Support Services exercises technical staff oversight of business, construction and maintenance of facilities, food services, transportation, and safety and security support for the public school system. It is charged with developing and administering administrative rules and regulations, publishing operational guidelines and providing related in-service training, monitoring and technical assistance to schools to ensure that the support is being provided in accordance with laws, policies and accepted principles of management.

Mālamalama Waldorf School Visits Hakalau National Wildlife Refuge

Mālamalama Waldorf School’s seventh and eighth grade students recently took part in a two-day trip to Hakalau National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) as part of the Teaching Change program. Teaching Change led by Scott Laursen of the University of Hawaii at Mānoa is a program implementing conservation education curriculum for local youth using Hakalau NWR as an outdoor classroom. Students learned concepts and methods of environmental science; climate change; phenology; conservation and restoration on the island of Hawai‘i.

Day one consisted of a service-learning project where students removed invasive Banana Poka from the native forest.

Mālamalama Waldorf School students at Hakalau National Wildlife Refuge.

Mālamalama Waldorf School students at Hakalau National Wildlife Refuge.

Day two included a guided bird walk led by Dr. Pat Hart of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and a visit to the U.S. Geological Survey bird banding station where Dr. Eben Paxton (USGS) and crew shared with students about mosquito-borne bird diseases such as avian malaria and avian pox, both, significant threats to Hawai‘i’s native forest birds. Students observed some of Hawai‘i’s most rare and endangered birds.

Students removing banana poka from the native forest.

Students removing banana poka from the native forest.

When asked about her experience at Hakalau NWR, student Zoey Block said, “Removing the banana poka was cool, because I was helping the forest and all the threatened and endangered species that depend on it. Also, getting to see the native birds up close was exciting.”

Dr. Pat Hart leads MWS students on a bird walk, introducing them to a variety of different threatened and endangered native forest birds.

Dr. Pat Hart leads MWS students on a bird walk, introducing them to a variety of different threatened and endangered native forest birds.

School Director Kelley Lacks, who accompanied the students, had this to add, “To see the students engaged in learning about native species and working directly with them, it was obvious there will be long term effects … future scientists and care takers of our land”.

Dr. Eben Paxton hands Kai Biegler an i‘iwi bird to release.

Dr. Eben Paxton hands Kai Biegler an i‘iwi bird to release.

Lava Breakouts Remain Active Near Cemetery – Additional Breakouts Upslope

Sluggish breakouts remain active near cemetery, with additional breakouts upslope

Click to enlarge

Slowly moving breakouts were active a short distance north of the cemetery, and were 630 meters (0.4 miles) upslope of Pāhoa Village Rd.

Click to enlarge

Inflation along the lava tube has created a long ridge with a deep, semi-continuous crack along the ridge centerline (right side of image). The peak of the ridge, by rough estimate, is about 4 meters (13 feet) above the original ground surface. This photo looked northeast along the trend of the tube, just south of the cemetery. The short section of uncovered road is the cemetery access road.

Click to enlarge

A close look into a tree mold on a recently active portion of the June 27th lava flow.

Click to enlarge

Earlier in the week lava reached the outer fence of the transfer station, sending several small cascades through the fence and down the embankment. Burning of the asphalt continued for several days. Now that burning has ceased at the transfer station, a closer look at these features was possible. Note that the lava which stalled at the fence line subsequently inflated to a height slightly greater than that of the fence.

Big Island Police Still Searching for Jeff Meek

Hawaiʻi Island police are continuing their search for a missing 44-year-old Keaʻau man.

Jeff Meek

Jeff Meek

Thursday (November 13), detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section, Vice Section and Juvenile Aid Section continued their search for Jeffrey Everett Meek, who was last seen in the Pepeʻekeo area last Saturday (November 8). The efforts included both ground and aerial searches, which were aided by use of a Hawaiʻi Fire Department helicopter.

Search efforts continued along the shoreline Friday morning (November 14), again aided by the Fire Department’s chopper.

Detectives have recovered items that are believed to belong to Meek but his whereabouts remain unknown. News reports about “pinging” the location of his cell phone were based on the family’s use of a website that has a disclaimer stating that the information may not be accurate. Police are using more reliable methods to track the location of the phone.

Meek is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-8, 185 pounds with blue eyes and balding brown hair. He usually wears a white cowboy hat and blue jeans. He was last seen operating a 1986 faded blue Ford pickup truck, which police have since recovered.

Police ask anyone who may have seen Meek and his truck on November 8 or who may have information or know his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2378 or wcarter@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Works with CDC to Ensure Hawaiʻi Can Screen for Ebola In-State

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard yesterday announced a collaboration resulting in Hawaiʻi having the ability to quickly and effectively test for Ebola in-state.  Previously, the Hawaiʻi Department of Health (DOH) would need to send patient samples to mainland laboratories to test for the deadly Ebola virus.

A few weeks ago, the congresswoman met with Ambassador Jimmy Kolker, Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Toby Merlin, Director of the Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Bill Gallo, Associate Director for Insular Area Support at the CDC, to discuss the global challenges related to the Ebola virus, and the necessity for a properly equipped Hawaiʻi testing facility. They resolved to supply the Hawaiʻi Department of Health with resources to test for Ebola, supporting State Department of Health and medical personnel with a quicker testing turnaround time.

Today, the DOH State Laboratories Division received and validated the U.S. Department of Defense-developed, CDC-deployed real time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction test for 2014 outbreak-associated Ebola Zaire Virus.

“The safety and well-being of Hawaiʻi residents is my highest priority, and it’s important that our state be equipped with the resources needed to quickly and effectively test those who may be suspected Ebola patients,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.  “Ensuring our medical professionals are given the tools they need to protect themselves, and to serve the public at large, is of the greatest importance, and I’m glad to see that we were able to bring this testing capability to our islands.”

TMT Launches The Hawaii Island New Knowledge (THINK) Fund

The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) has launched THINK (The Hawaii Island New Knowledge) Fund to better prepare Hawaii Island students to master STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and to become the workforce for higher paying science and technology jobs in Hawaii’s 21st century economy. TMT’s founding gift of $1 million marks the beginning of the construction phase of astronomy’s next-generation telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

TMT with the Laser Guide Star at Night (An artist concept of TMT at night, with the laser guide star system illuminated).

TMT with the Laser Guide Star at Night (An artist concept of TMT at night, with the laser guide star system illuminated).

TMT’s THINK Fund initiative benefits Hawaii Island students pursuing STEM endeavors with an annual contribution of $1 million over its existing 19-year Mauna Kea sublease with the University of Hawaii-Hilo. Two Hawaii foundations were selected by TMT, Hawaii Community Foundation and Pauahi Foundation, to administer THINK Fund distribution in scholarship and grant making platforms. The two independent foundations are defining their award criteria and decision-making process.

“During our numerous meetings, TMT and the community discussed how to collaborate to fulfill the shared dream of building the world’s most advanced telescope. The idea for the THINK Fund to invest in the education of students in the STEM field was germinated,” said Henry Yang, Chair of the TMT International Observatory Board. “With the launch of the THINK Fund, we are embarking on two transformational adventures – exploring the frontiers of the universe and providing educational opportunities for Hawaii’s students, both now and for future generations.”

The Thirty Meter Telescope initiated dialogue on the formation of THINK Fund in 2008 by asking a group of community volunteers to outline the mission, vision, purpose and implementation strategy of an education fund benefitting Hawaii Island students. The Organizing Committee that developed TMT’s THINK Fund structure was comprised of Hawaii Island residents.

“After years of THINK Fund planning and reflection, the aspirations of dedicated community members are being realized with TMT’s first annual $1 million contribution, set in motion by the start of our construction phase,” said TMT Community Affairs Manager Sandra Dawson. “As a mother of two teachers, I am so pleased with the THINK Fund’s potential to furnish Hawaii Island students with an easier path to reach for the stars. TMT’s THINK Fund initiative will not only help Hawaii Island students with the tools to excel in STEM areas and the channels to get into college, it can also provide students with the means to get through college.”

The Organizing Committee determined that scholarships, grant making and the establishment of an endowment would ensure the sustainability of improving educational opportunities for Hawaii Island students in STEM disciplines. It further recognized that an emphasis be given to improving opportunities for STEM education for Native Hawaiian students, not as an exclusive preference, but focusing on addressing the needs of Hawaii’s host culture.

TMT’s annual $1 million contribution allocates $750,000 to THINK Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation and $250,000 to THINK Fund at the Pauahi Foundation. The foundations will administer their respective THINK Funds independently and will have autonomy in administering grant funds, determining scholarship recipients, and the selection and governance of Advisory Committees.

THINK Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation

Grants are available by application to THINK Fund at Hawaii Community Foundation beginning November 20th and will support a variety of Hawaii Island STEM student activities in and after-school, internship programs and teacher-generated STEM classroom projects. Scholarships will support current and future STEM teachers on Hawaii Island as well as students pursuing STEM degrees and training. Scholarship applications will be available online on December 1st, 2014.

“For the past 98 years, Hawaii Community Foundation has had the privilege of serving our island communities across the state,” said Kelvin Taketa, president and CEO of the Hawaii Community Foundation. “We’re honored to be the stewards of the THINK Fund at HCF that will support STEM education on Hawaii Island for generations to come.”

Advisory Committee members of THINK Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation are Laurie Ainslie, Roberta Chu, Mary Correa, Kaeo Duarte, Hiapo Perreira, Doug Simons and Barry Taniguchi. The Advisory Committee, facilitated by Hawaii Community Foundation staff, will assist with strategy development, review grant proposals, make grant decisions and encourage STEM education for Hawaii Island.

THINK Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation is open to all Hawaii Island students including Native Hawaiians, teachers with STEM classroom projects and organizations providing STEM and internship programs that directly benefit Hawaii Island. Learn more and apply at www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org <http://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org> .

The Hawaii Island office of Hawaii Community Foundation is located in Waimea.

THINK Fund at the Pauahi Foundation

Scholarship Programs will be the initial focus of THINK Fund at the Pauahi Foundation. Grant making is being considered for the future.

“With Hawaii Island having the second largest population of Native Hawaiians in the state of Hawaii, our partnership with TMT provides much-needed financial support for Hawaiian learners from Hawaii Island to pursue educational opportunities in STEM,” said Hawaii Island resident and Pauahi Foundation Executive Director Keawe Liu.

Advisory committee members of THINK Fund at the Pauahi Foundation are Roberta Chu, Kaeo Duarte, Leinaala Enos, David Kaapu, Bob Lindsey, Gail Makuakane-Lundin and Maile Wong.

THINK Fund at the Pauahi Foundation is open to all Hawaii Island students with a preference given to applicants of Hawaiian ancestry to the extent permitted by law. Scholarship applications will be available online on February 4, 2015 at www.pauahi.org <http://www.pauahi.org> .

THINK Fund Collaboration

THINK Fund was designed as an initiative to encourage and attract other funders who align with the mission and goal to improve STEM education and strengthen Hawaii Island’s workforce, and TMT is serving as the founding member of the THINK Fund initiative. The vision of this collaborative approach is to bring together the island community with funders in a partnership that strives to help Hawaii Island students long term.

What’s Next For TMT?

Construction activities in Hawaii include site preparation and grading.

tmt

Offsite work has begun in earnest as well. In China, partners are designing the telescope’s fully articulated main science steering mirror system and developing the laser guide star system. Japan has produced over sixty special zero thermal-expansion glass mirror blanks for the main mirror and is designing the telescope structure in detail. Fabricating the mirror support system is ongoing in India. The adaptive optics facility is in final design and the enclosure is ready for construction in Canada. The primary mirror and mirror control system is in final design in California.

The advancement of TMT to this stage of imminent on-site construction has been made possible by the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The foundation has spent $141 million to date to fund the design, development, and construction phases of TMT.