Temporary Closure of Hilo “Isles” Recreational Area on July 4th

The Department of Parks and Recreation will close the Hilo “Isles” recreational area temporally on July 4 to accommodate preparations for a unique Fourth of July fireworks display.


Located across from Lili‘uokalani Gardens, the “Isles” peninsula will be off limits to the public between 2 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 4. This action is being taken so fireworks may be loaded safely onto a barge that then will be stationed in the middle of Hilo Bay to provide a spectacular public display honoring America’s birthday.

The Hilo Jaycees, in partnership with Hawai‘i Explosives, is planning an even bigger and better fireworks presentation than those held in recent years. Changing the launching site from Moku Ola Island, also known as Coconut Island, to the bay is intended to maximize public safety and enhance the annual fireworks display by allowing more people to witness the festivity.

The Hilo Jaycees’ fireworks exhibition is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 4.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience the temporary closure may cause and thanks the public for its understanding.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us.


Statement by Hawaii House Speaker Joseph M. Souki on Defense of Marriage Act Ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court


Hawaii House Speaker Joseph M. Souki today issued the following comment on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the provision of a federal law denying federal benefits to married gay couples.

“We will be having full discussions with the members of the majority caucus on the ruling and its ramifications. I expect we will come to some decision as a caucus as to how we want to proceed.”

Queen’s Health Systems and North Hawaii Community Hospital Enter Into Agreement

Both Organizations Explore Possibility of Formal Affiliation

The Queen‟s Health Systems (Queen‟s), corporate parent of The Queen‟s Medical Center, announced today that it has officially entered into an agreement with North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH). This agreement will allow Queen‟s to explore the possibility of a formal affiliation with NHCH, as well as conduct in-depth due diligence into physical and regulatory requirements on next steps before moving forward.

North Hawaii Community Hospital

The Queen‟s Medical Center has had a clinical affiliation with NHCH since 2005.

“Queen‟s remains mindful and dedicated to our mission to provide in perpetuity quality health services to improve the well-being of Native Hawaiians and all the people of Hawaii,” said Art Ushijima, President of The Queen‟s Medical Center. “North Hawaii Community Hospital shares a similar mission. Founded in 1859 by Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV, Queen‟s has served its mission of providing quality healthcare services for over 153 years. If given the opportunity, we would dedicate ourselves to serving the people of North Hawaii with the same standard of excellence that has been the foundation of our founders‟ values and vision.”

The specific nature of any affiliation between Queen‟s and North Hawaii will be determined and announced after due diligence is completed. That process is expected to take between 90 to 120 days. Both organizations have signed confidentiality agreements.

“We are very encouraged about the possibility of a formal affiliation with The Queen‟s Health Systems,” said Bob Momsen, NHCH Board of Directors Chairman since 2008. “Queen‟s was instrumental in the founding of NHCH, in the early fund raising, and has consistently been very supportive of the needs of NHCH and our North Hawaii community over the years. Affiliating with Queen’s will dramatically improve our ability to fulfill our mission: Improving the health status of the people of North Hawaii.”

North Hawaii Community Hospital is a private, non-profit community hospital that serves more than 30,000 residents in North Hawaii. Located in Waimea (Kamuela), Hawaii Island, NHCH opened in May 1996. Its mission is to improve the health status of the people of North Hawaii by improving access to care and providing high-quality services at a reasonable cost. NHCH is an acute-care hospital with 33 licensed beds, 24 hour emergency services, 376 employees, and 68 active physicians.


Honey Badgers Ready to Compete in 3rd Battle of the Islands – Maui

The Paradise Roller Girls’ Honey Badgers are riled up and ready for some hard-hitting action in the upcoming 2013 Battle of the Islands in Maui, June 28-29. Honey Badger Talina DiMartino, aka “Sasha Buzzkill”, said the PRG all-star team is prepared to “out-block, out-score, and out-skate” their opponents. “We’re ready for anything, she said. “We’ve been doing extra endurance drills, scrimmaging, and having meetings about strategy.”

Paradise Roller Girl’s Honey Badgers at the 2012 Hilo Battle of the Islands. Photo credit: Mr. Forbidden

Paradise Roller Girl’s Honey Badgers at the 2012 Hilo Battle of the Islands. Photo credit: Mr. Forbidden

Teammate Hau’oli Sayles, aka “Stealth SoulJAH”, agrees with DiMartino about the team’s readiness, saying all the players are in top shape and eager to play. “We are working on specific strategies and skills that will be used to hopefully win this tournament,” Sayles said.

The Maui Owie Rollers and Waimea Wranglers will roll out to warm the fans up in the first matchup of the tournament, Friday, June 28 at 6:30 pm. Second up in the starting night’s double header will be the much anticipated bout between the Honey Badgers and the Maui Roller Girls, slated to begin at 8 pm.

Teams from Pacific Roller Derby (Oahu), Garden Isle Renegade Rollerz (Kauai), and Aloha City Rollers (Oahu) will play on the second day of the tournament, with the first bout starting at 10 am. Seven teams will vie for the championship slot in two separate brackets. The final bout for B bracket is scheduled for 5 pm on Saturday. The battle for the top spot in bracket A starts at 6:30 pm.

In addition to the extra endurance drills and team strategy meetings, Honey Badger players are taking time out to do some personal training too. Sayles said she is doing High Intensity Interval Training in order to “step up the jammer game, increase performance, and prevent injury.”

Kaya Lela, aka “Chola Roll-ya”, said she’s “eating a nutritious diet and practicing four times a week.” Lela started skating with PRG “from the get-go,” but said this will be her first time competing in the Battle of the Islands.

Paradise Roller Girl’s Honey Badgers SheBang SheBang #911, Reba Smack N’ Flyher #65, Tsunamea #25, and VonSchlappenbitsch #8 hold back the Maui Roller Girls jammer at the 2012 Hilo Battle of the Islands. Photo credit Mr. Forbidden

Paradise Roller Girl’s Honey Badgers SheBang SheBang #911, Reba Smack N’ Flyher #65, Tsunamea #25, and VonSchlappenbitsch #8 hold back the Maui Roller Girls jammer at the 2012 Hilo Battle of the Islands. Photo credit Mr. Forbidden

Battle of the Islands is a state-wide bi-annual flat-track roller derby tournament. The tournament rotates to different islands where it is hosted by the local roller derby league. Paradise Roller Girls hosted the first Battle of the Islands tournament last July in Hilo. A second Battle of the Islands took place in Oahu last September. The fourth Battle of the Islands will be in Kauai later this year. Money earned from the June 2 PRG Skate-a-Thon fundraiser is being used to pay for some of the Honey Badgers’ travel costs for this year’s trip to Maui.

Games will take place at Central Maui Boys and Girls Club Outdoor Basketball Court 100 Kanaloa Avenue Kahului, HI 96793. For tickets and a full schedule of the upcoming June 28-29 tournament visit mauirollergirls.com. Those attending the tournament are encouraged to bring a canned food or pantry item to help support the Maui Food Bank.

Paradise Roller Girls is a women’s flat-track roller derby league located on the Big Island of Hawaii. PRG’s mission is to promote a healthy, athletic lifestyle in their community through the alternative sport of roller derby.


Low Flying Helicopter Scares Kona Residents

The Hawai’i Police Department is not conducting any operations involving the use of a helicopter in the Kona area.


A private company is conducting a GPS mapping survey in the Kona area, which will continue until later this afternoon.

The Hawai’i Police Department has received several complaints about a low flying helicopter.

The company’s name is Fugro Aerial Mobile Mapping.


Governor Abercrombie Signs Measures in Support of Agriculture

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed seven bills related to agriculture, a central component of the state’s economic and environmental sustainability.

Abercrombie Signs Ag Bills

“Part of Hawaii’s history and way of life, our agriculture industry keeps money in the local economy and supports thriving rural communities,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “These bills are important to combat harmful pests and invasive species, promote urban gardening, and expand the agriculture industry through programs that support farmers while educating and encouraging youth in pursuing agricultural careers.”

HB353 (Relating to Agriculture) appropriates $550,000 over the fiscal biennium to combat the coffee berry borer, a small beetle harmful to coffee crops worldwide that has infested coffee crops in the Kona and South Kona regions.

HB1263 (Relating to Irrigation) appropriates $75,000 for the East Kauai Irrigation System and $45,000 for the Peekauai Ditch Irrigation System (also known as the Menehune Ditch).

SB593 (Relating to Agriculture) expands livestock feed subsidies to include milking goats, goats raised for meat, sheep, lambs, fish, and crustaceans; and appropriates $1.5 million to the state Department of Agriculture for livestock feed subsidies and the Livestock Revitalization Program.

SB993 (Relating to Agricultural Loans) expands the state’s Agricultural Loan Program by adding farm innovation loan programs and expanding the definition of a new farmer.

HB560 (Relating to Affordable Housing Urban Gardening) authorizes the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC) and the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) to develop programs that provide incentives for the development of housing projects that incorporate urban gardening programs.

SB586 (Relating to Agricultural Building Permits) provides certain building code and permit exemptions for nonresidential buildings and structures, including indigenous Hawaiian hale, on commercial farms and ranches located outside the urban district.

SB757 (Relating to Agriculture) appropriates $75,000 to the state Department of Education for the Future Farmers of America to educate and support youth in agricultural careers.


Big Island Police Warning Public About Recent Company Selling Magazines Door to Door

Hawai´i Island police are warning the public about a recent company selling magazines door to door.


The salesperson says that they are selling the magazines to benefit a local high school or get points for college or for cancer research.

The individual obtain personal information from the buyers and uses this information fraudulently and the magazine(s) that the buyers order never arrives.

Some of the names the company have been using are, Frontline Communications, LLC; HP Consulting and MD Network. They originated in the State of Colorado where they have been fined for 1 million dollars.

If you have encountered these individuals and need to make a police report please call the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 935-3311.


Governor Abercrombie’s Statement on Same Sex Marriage Rulings by U.S. Supreme Court

Gov. Neil Abercrombie strongly supports the decision by the United States Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor, which will now afford full federal rights to all couples married in states that allow same sex marriage.

Gov. Abercrombie stated:

“In Hawaii, we believe in fairness, justice and human equality, and that everyone is entitled to the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else, including the ability to get married. So I am pleased that the Supreme Court, in the Hollingsworth v. Perry case, did not overturn the federal district court’s ruling striking down Proposition 8 – which attempted to bar same sex marriage in California – thereby effectively allowing same sex couples in California to be married.

“Although the Supreme Court did not directly require that same sex couples in other states be allowed to marry, I am encouraged by the fact that language in the Windsor ruling supports my position in the Hawaii lawsuit, which is currently pending in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In that lawsuit, I argue the Constitution’s equal protection clause requires same sex marriage in all states, including Hawaii.

“I believe my position to support a constitutional right to same sex marriage in Hawaii and elsewhere was given a substantial boost by today’s Supreme Court rulings. I will continue to work to assure justice and equality for all.”


Pahoa Man Shot With Spear Gun During Confrontation in Leilani Estates

Big Island police are investigating an incident involving a spear gun that occurred in the Puna District which left one person critically injured.

Late last night (June 25, 2013) at about 10:15 pm, police responded to a call of a 20 year-old Pahoa man who was shot with a spear gun during a confrontation on Leilani Avenue in the Leilani Estates Subdivision.

Police and Hawaiʻi Fire Department medics responded to the location and stabilized the victim at the scene before transporting him to the Hilo Medical Center.

Police also learned that a 61 year-old female sustained a non life-threatening injury to her lower leg during the confrontation after being struck by a large rock. She was also transported to the Hilo Medical Center for treatment and was subsequently released .

Officers arrested a 49 year-old Pahoa man for second degree attempted murder and he is being held in the police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section continue the investigation.

The victim underwent surgery at the medical center and he remains in critical condition.

Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call Detective Fetuutuunai Amuimuia at 961-2278 or email him at famuimuia@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective Todd Pataray at 961-2382 or email him at tpataray@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.


Big Island Police Investigating Mysterious Bloody Mess Found in Pahoa Town

Big Island Police are currently doing an investigation of a bloody mess that was found in Pahoa Town this morning.

This picture was taken before police arrived on the scene

This picture was taken before police arrived on the scene

They taped off the area and were doing an investigation when I drove by just now.

Blood scene

The place where most of the blood was located was next to Pahoa Buy and Sell, however blood spots were seen leaving the area and no body was found.

Pahoa Cordoned off

Police on the scene would not comment on the case as an active investigation was currently going on.


I’ll update this post if I hear anything further about what is going on.  If anyone else has heard of anything… please feel free to let me know.


Big Island police are requesting the public’s assistance in located a male party who was a possible witness to an assault that occurred in Pahoa Town on June 25, 2013.

Alfred Kumalae

Alfred Kumalae

Alfred Kumalae, M-58, is described being Hawaiian, 5’8”, 170 lbs., with brown eyes and black/gray hair. Kumalae hangs out in the Pahoa Town area, but is also known to frequent Mooheau Bus Terminal. Police ask that anyone with information on the whereabouts of Alfred Kumalae, to contact Detective Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or Detective Grant Todd at 961-2385. 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.

Newly Enacted Medical Marijuana Bill Refocuses on Compassionate Treatment in Hawaii

Medical Marijuana moves from the public safety side of things to the health side of things.

Medical Marijuana moves from the public safety side of things to the health side of things.

Health Committee Chair Representative Della Au Belatti (Makiki, Tantalus, Papakolea, McCully, Pawaa, Manoa) issued the following statement regarding this afternoon’s signing of Senate Bill 642 and House Bill 668, bills relating to the administration of medical marijuana:

“Today’s bills represent a significant step forward in improving Hawaii’s medical marijuana program and aligning it with best practices of medical cannabis programs in other states.  By refocusing the program on medical matters such as the role of the primary physician and the role of the Department of Health in providing regulation and program oversight, the State can better ensure the compassionate treatment of people suffering from debilitating health conditions.”


Video: Councilman Greggor Ilagan on the Bus Fare Increase

Councilman Greggor Ilagan explains his vote.  Video courtesy of Big Island Video News:


Kona’s Kohanaiki Beach Park Dedicated

A public blessing, dedication and opening ceremony for the new Kohanaiki Beach Park in Kona was held today at the park’s halau.
Kohanaiki Hale
Situated along 1.5 miles of coastline, Kohanaiki is one of North Kona’s most popular surfing, diving and camping areas. The park’s completion represents years of collaboration between lineal descendants of the area, community groups, the County of Hawai‘i, and Kohanaiki Shores. Ongoing responsibilities for the park will be shared between Kohanaiki Shores, the County and the community.
“This grassroots effort by the community is an excellent example of collaboration between the public, a landowner, and county government. It will ensure that Kohanaiki remains the special place that we have cherished for generations,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “Mahalo to everyone in the Kona community who worked so hard to make the opening of this shoreline park possible.”
The park includes bathrooms and outdoor showers, designated camping areas, a halau for cultural practices, improved and additional parking, and improved roadways to and along the shoreline and within the park. Portable toilets, which have been in use while new facilities were being developed, will also remain in place.
“The Kohanaiki Shoreline Park is the result of years of collaboration and negotiation; it represents a willingness on the part of all stakeholders to share in the stewardship of this very special place,” said Hawai‘i County Council member Karen Eoff, who represents District 8. “A Good Faith Agreement, forged in 2003, establishes Kohanaiki as the first County park on Hawai‘i Island where management and maintenance will be a shared responsibility between landowners, County and community.” Councilwoman Eoff has been involved with the project in various capacities since its inception.
Following the dedication, the park will be open daily and available for camping five days a week for up to 80 campers a night. Park hours for day use will be from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Camping administration will eventually transition to the Department of Parks & Recreation, but is currently handled by Kohanaiki Shores. Camping permits are issued at the beach on a first come, first served basis. For more information and for reservations, call 329-6200.
Kohanaiki Park Beach

Kohanaiki Park Beach

“The new park at Kohanaiki is a great addition to our growing West Hawai‘i community,” said Parks & Recreation Director Clayton Honma. “The new facilities make this a safe place for our families to spend time together, and make it possible for more members of our community to enjoy this treasure.”
In addition to improved vehicular access, park goers can use an already established pedestrian trail, which runs the length of the shoreline and is part of the longer Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail. Beyond the paved turnaround, the trail will be used to access the halau and the southern boundary of Kohanaiki.
“It’s been a journey of diplomacy, compromise, and collaboration,” said Rebecca Villegas, president of Kohanaiki ‘Ohana, an active member of the community partnership that worked toward establishment of the shoreline park. “We’ve created a model for future coastline developments, bridging the gap between government, developers, and community interests.”
A preservation and cultural plan, guided by the lineal descendants of Kohanaiki, is in place to guide the conservation of historic and cultural sites at the park, as well as ongoing cultural practices at the halau.

Maui and Molokai Residents Invited to Visit the Hōkūle‘a

The Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a welcomes the public to visit her in Mā‘alaea Harbor for a few more days.  Crew members have been connecting with youth and community groups since their arrival on Maui on June 17th.

The Hokulea in Hilo

The Hokulea in Hilo

A community presentation about the upcoming Worldwide Voyage is planned for Wednesday, June 26, from 6:00-8:00 PM at the headquarters of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary at 726 S. Kīhei Road (see attached flyer).  Apprentice navigator Ka‘iulani Murphy and crewmembers from Hui ‘o Wa‘a Kaulua, ‘Ohana Wa‘a and Polynesian Voyaging Society will be sharing their stories.

While docked at Mā‘alaea, the public is welcome to visit Hōkūle‘a between 9 AM – 12 noon and 1-5 PM through the 27th.

Mālama Hawai‘i is the first leg of Mālama Honua, the Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines.  Hōkūle‘a will pay respects to communities throughout Hawai‘i in gratitude for 38 years of support of voyaging here.

Na Aumakua of the Hokulea

Na Aumakua of the Hokulea

In addition, we will feature stories of leadership and wise practices in resource management, voyaging and navigation, innovative education, and cultural practice throughout the islands.  The plans for the Worldwide Voyage will be shared at every port.  Over the next several weeks*, Hōkūle‘a will be in the waters of Maui Nui:

  • Through June 27      Mā‘alaea, Maui
  • June 28 – Jul 1           Lahaina, Maui
  • July 1 – 3                      Kealaikahiki, Kaho‘olawe
  • July 3 – 8                      Mānele, Lāna‘i
  • July 8 – 15                   Kaunakakai, Moloka‘i
  • August 16 – 18           Hāna, Maui
  • August 18 – 19           Honolua, Maui
  • August 19 – 20          Kalaupapa, Moloka‘i
  • August 20 – 23          Kaunakakai, Moloka‘i

* All dates are subject to change.  Committed to the safety of our crews and vessels, all sail dates are weather/safety dependent.

Horizon Lines Plans to Convert Steam-Powered Cargo Vessels To Dual Diesel/LNG Engine Power Plants

Horizon Lines, Inc., one of the nation’s leading domestic ocean shipping companies, today announced that it plans to convert the power plants on two of its steam turbine cargo vessels to modern diesel engines capable of burning conventional liquid fuels or liquefied natural gas (LNG).


“We are viewing this as the first step in a repowering initiative for Horizon Lines vessels serving in the Hawaii and Puerto Rico trade lanes,” said Sam Woodward, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The two initial steam vessels targeted for the planned repowering are structurally viable for the conversion from steam-powered to dual diesel/LNG engines. Additionally, our repowering project has the support of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). We plan to work closely with the ABS and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) throughout the life of the project.”

The project’s goal is to reduce fuel consumption and lower emissions. The project, which would include an integrated repowering solution encompassing main engines, supporting components, and LNG storage tanks, has attracted interest from both domestic and foreign shipyards. As a result, six request-for-pricings (RFPs) have been issued to U.S. shipyards and six have been issued to foreign shipyards. The company has not decided where the repowering work would be conducted at this time, pending receipt and evaluation of the RFPs.

Horizon Challenger

The Horizon Challenger

Horizon Lines requested a predetermination ruling from the USCG National Vessel Documentation Center on coastwise eligibility in order to determine if the company could consider foreign options in addition to U.S. shipyards for the project. The USCG ruled that the work as described can take place in a foreign shipyard without jeopardizing the Jones Act status of the vessels.

“We expect to receive the completed RFPs in mid-July and will evaluate each based on the overall value that the shipyard can provide in terms of quality of work, cost of the project and schedule requirements,” said Pete Strohla, Vice President and General Manager of the company’s Ocean Transportation Services group. “As we further explore a comprehensive fleet program, additional RFPs will be needed to meet our vessel requirements. We expect U.S. shipyards will provide bids for this initial repowering project, as well as for upcoming projects. We tentatively expect work to commence on the first vessel in January 2015 and the first two ships to be completed late that same year or in early 2016.”

Horizon Lines also is conducting due diligence regarding various engine manufacturers capable of meeting the company’s specifications for a dual-fuel, medium-speed diesel power plant required for the planned repowering project. The company currently does not have a contract with any engine manufacturer but has engaged MAN Diesel & Turbo SE to conduct preliminary engineering, consulting and design work related to the proposed
repowering project.

“Horizon Lines is committed to a comprehensive repowering program that will improve our fleet’s fuel efficiency and environmental impact,” said Bill Hamlin, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Doing this in a cost-effective manner, while at the same time continuing to provide outstanding service to our customers without disruption, is consistent with Horizon Lines’ commitment to its customers, the consumers in the markets we serve, and our obligations as a Jones Act carrier.”

Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Fund Awards First Set of Grants

More than $100,000 provided to support organizations and causes championed by the late Senator Inouye

Hawai’i Community Foundation announced today that the Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Fund has awarded a total of $107,000 to the following 35 organizations in its first set of grants:

  • 442nd Regimental Combat Team Foundation
  • ‘Ahahui Mālama I Ka Lōkahi
  • Alaka’ina Foundation
  • Aloha Medical Mission
  • American Cancer Society Hawai’i Pacific
  • Bishop Museum
  • Boy Scouts of America – Aloha Council
  • Boys & Girls Club of Hawai’i
  • Filipino Community Center, Inc.
  • Girl Scouts of Hawai’i
  • Harris United Methodist Church
  • Hawai’i 3R’s
  • Hawai’i United Okinawa Association
  • Hawai’i Foodbank
  • Hawai’i Public Radio
  • Hawai’i Public Television Foundation dba PBS Hawai’i
  • Historic Hawai’i Foundation
  • Japanese American National Museum
  • Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai’i
  • Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa
  • Kaua’i Economic Development Board
  • Kīlauea Point Natural History Association
  • Maui Arts & Cultural Center
  • Maui Economic Development Board Inc.
  • National Marine Sanctuary Foundation
  • National Tropical Botanical Garden
  • Nisei Veterans Memorial Center on Maui
  • Parents and Children Together
  • Rotary District 5000 Foundation
  • State of Hawai’i, DOE – Wai’anae High School
  • Susannah Wesley Community Center
  • The Friends of ‘Iolani Palace
  • University of Hawai’i Foundation – ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai’i
  • U.S. – Japan Council
  • YMCA of Honolulu, Metropolitan Office

“The Hawai’i Community Foundation is honored and privileged to award the first grants of the Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Fund,” said Kelvin H. Taketa, Hawai’i Community Foundation president and CEO. “The legacy of Senator Inouye, his tremendous leadership and courage, continues to support and inspire our community today.”

Senator Daniel K. Inouye

Senator Daniel K. Inouye

“These grants are a small token of appreciation for the important work these organizations did with Dan over the years to enhance the social fabric of Hawai’i, which he dearly loved,” said Irene Hirano Inouye, wife of the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye. “I hope they will continue their collective good work in the years ahead.”

The Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Fund was created in December 2012 at the request of Irene Hirano Inouye. The fund was established to continue to help the organizations and causes that the senator supported over the years. To date, the fund has received 613 donations from the public amounting to more than $173,000.

Inouye passed away on Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 at the age of 88 from respiratory complications. He was the second longest serving member of the U.S. Senate prior to his death, with 49 years of service.


Official Athlete Start List Announced for Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships

The Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships (M2O), presented by Kona Longboard Island Lager annually crowns world champions in the two disciplines of traditional (prone) and stand up paddleboarding (SUP). The endurance challenge represents the pinnacle achievement for paddlers around the world, looking to test their abilities in the sport. Race weekend updates and race day coverage will be fed to Facebook and Twitter at hash tag #M2O. Official start list can be found at Molokai2Oahu.com.


The 17th annual M2O on Sunday, July 28, 2013 is poised to display the most competitive race in the men’s SUP division that the event has ever experienced. The women’s SUP field features a record number of talented veterans who are capable of pushing the limits and delivering a close race.

Men’s defending champion Connor Baxter from the island of Maui returns this year after setting a course record of 4 hours, 13 minutes, 26 seconds in 2012. In addition to his speed on an unlimited SUP board, Baxter also holds the record as the youngest male champion in race history, claiming his first victory at 16. Now 18, Baxter will be tested by another young gun also from Maui, 20-year-old Kai Lenny.

Last year, Lenny proved he had the potential to become a champion at M2O after he crossed the channel in record time on a stock SUP board and still managed to finish third overall (4:22:14), just minutes behind his faster counterparts on unlimited boards. Racing this year on a sleeker UL board, there is no doubt Lenny will prove troublesome for the other top men.

M20 Paddleboard

Excitement from the coast of California came when news broke about Danny Ching’s entry into this year’s men’s SUP race. The 30-year-old Redondo Beach resident is currently considered America’s best SUP athlete, having won a flurry of events over the past two years. This will be Ching’s first attempt at the M2O championship. An accomplished OC-1 paddler and two-time Champion of the OC -1 Molokai race which covers the same course. Ching was the first Californian to win the coveted title and is keen to do the same at M2O.    

Throw in top SUP athletes from Australia, Travis Grant, 30, and South Africa, Kimon dos Santos, 15, and the race could get tight when the paddlers round Oahu’s iconic China Wall toward the finish line. Grant has been close to Baxter in their European meetings. Dos Santos is the youngest paddler in the field; however, youth has proved beneficial in this race considering Baxter’s M2O championship at the age of 16.

Also in this year’s mix are experienced M2O racers Scott Gamble, 37, from Oahu and Livio Menelau, 34, Maui.

Familiar faces make up the grouping of favorites in the women’s SUP race. Returning champion Talia Gangini-Decoite, 20, will defend her title after breaking former champion Andrea Moller’s win streak, while also setting a new women’s record of 4:55:02. Gangini-Decoite’s record also represents the first time a woman has finished under the five-hour mark in the SUP division. In fact, she smashed Moller’s former record (5:26:51) by more than 30 minutes under favorable conditions.

Moller, 33, is back. As reported by M2O founder Mike Takahashi, the powerful paddler and big wave surfer has been refocused on her training after completing her course work to become a paramedic, while also working full-time and raising a family. Moller convincingly snapped up repeat victories in 2010 and ’11, setting new course records in each win.

All women will need to look out for Annabel Anderson, 32, from New Zealand. Anderson is brining with her the momentum from a series of recent international victories.

M20 Paddleboard

Terrene Black, 29, from Australia will push the pace after finishing third in 2012 (5:18:48). Jenny Kalambach, 29, from the Big Island rounds out the field of top female paddlers. Like Black, Kalambach holds one of the top five M2O finish times (5:46:11).

Celebrities and surfing pros, past and present, join the SUP field this year:

Oracle Team USA Skipper and America’s Cup Champion (2010) James Spithill, 33, from Australia is racing solo SUP in his first crossing of the Ka’iwi Channel. No boat, no crew – just a man and his board.

  • Dancing with the Stars semi-finalist and General Hospital Star Ingo Rademacher, 41, is racing solo SUP in his second M2O having finished the 2011 race in 5:33:38.
  • Hawaiian Legends: Surfing icons and brothers Gerry and Victor Lopez team up with friend Dale Hope as a three-man team.
  • German Surf Champ Sonni Hönscheid, 32, takes on the waves in the Channel of Bones for the first time.
  • Big Wave rider Jamie Sterling, 31, is back in team competition after getting a taste of the channel last year, finishing in 5:15:37 with partner 2012 partner Tucker Ingalls.


M20 Paddleboard

The story line for the men and women’s traditional paddleboard championship can be answered by asking one simple question – Can anyone beat the Australians?

Watching an Australian paddler on a traditional paddleboard is a textbook lesson in power and efficiency. That is why it will be difficult to unseat male and female defending champions Brad Gaul and Jordan Mercer. However, good competitors do not get complacent, especially when the closest competition for these two paddlers will come from fellow Australians.

Last year, Gaul fell about three minutes shy of former champ Jamie Mitchell’s course record of 4:40:31. The 34-year-old Gaul will start this year’s race with a new board he designed and is reported to be on a rigorous training regimen in preparation to defend his title, and perhaps set a new record.


Aussie Matt Poole could be a surprise in the men’s field this year. The 25-year-old has raced M2O on a team, so he knows what the channel can dish out. Poole has had several months to switch from Australian Ironman training to long-distance paddleboarding.

Jackson English, 38, returns after finishing second to Gaul last year (4:59:57).

Brian Rocheleau who floated across the finish line in 5:01:49 tested English last year. In recent years, Rocheleau, a 37-year-old Oahu firefighter, has been the only American to consistently challenge the Australian athletes since they essentially took ownership of the division in 2001 after Aaron Bitmead’s win (5:29:01), followed by Jamie Mitchell’s string of 10 straight championships.

Some know her as “Jordie.” The M2O community knows her as the youngest overall champion in the field and current course record holder (5:22:31, 2011). At 19, Mercer looks unstoppable, but her bid for a third straight championship might be put in question by the entry of another 19-year-old and fellow competitor on the Australian Ironman series, Miranda Davies. This is Davies’ first M2O championship. Davies has experience in the channel having recently won the Surfski Championships on the same course earlier this year.

After claiming a legendary eight M2O championships and completing 12 consecutive crossings of the Molokai Channel, Kanesa Duncan-Seraphin will be missed from this year’s race while she enjoys time as a new mom with her family.

In the stock category, look out for the following athletes:

Jack Bark, 19, Palos Verdes, CA – 2012 M2O winner and California’s top stock paddler.
Ryan Butcher, 34, South Africa – South African stock champion.
Zeb Walsh, Australia – 3rd 2012 M2O championship

Eric Terrien, 31, Spain – Spain’s top distance paddler.
Riggs Napoleon, 16, Hawaii – Riggs is the youngest person to ever complete the channel solo on any craft at age 12. He has matured and will definitely be a contender.
Andrew Logreco, 28, Hawaii – Former stock record holder.
Rachel Bruntsch 29, Hawaii – Current women’s SUP stock record holder (5:49:10).

Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships Valued Partners
The organizers and athletes of the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championship, presented by Kona Longboard Island Lager, thank the event’s valued partners for making the annual race possible (alphabetically): Dukes, Futures, Garmin, GoPro, Kona Longboard Island Lager, Lifeproof, Maui Jim, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, Patagonia, Pflueger Honda, Rogue SUP, Standup Paddle Magazine, Teva and Watermans Applied Science.

M20 paddleboard

About the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships

Founded in 1997, the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, presented by Kona Longboard Island Lager, is set to celebrate its 17th anniversary on Sunday, July 28, 2013. M2O has grown from a grassroots challenge for the legendary lifeguards and watermen of Oahu to the premiere event for the sport of paddleboarding, annually crowning world champions in the two disciplines of traditional (prone) and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). The fastest athletes complete the crossing in less than five hours, which begins on Kaluakoi Beach on the north shore of Molokai and finishes in Maunalua Bay on the south shore of Oahu.

Hawai‘i Island Beacon Community Achieves Standout Health Care Improvements on the Big Island

84 Percent of Primary Care Physicians Now Using Certified Electronic Health Records

Three years after entering into a $16.1 million cooperative agreement with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), the Hawai‘i Island Beacon Community (HIBC) reports significant achievements in the use of innovative technology to improve the quality of patient care in Hawai‘i County. As one of the most rural and geographically isolated of the 17 Beacon Communities and in the face of unique challenges – geographic distances, diverse populations, and limited health care resources – HIBC is making improvements toward better health, better care and lower costs.

Beacon CommunityAccording to HIBC’s database, 84 percent of primary care providers have adopted certified electronic health records (EHR) in Hawai‘i County. Use of certified EHRs qualify primary care providers on the island for financial incentives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid through achievement of the first stage of Meaningful Use of their EHR software.

HIBC facilitated the first functioning regional health information exchange (HIE) on Hawai‘i Island. The North Hawai‘i HIE connects a variety of clinical data sources to the Alere Accountable Care Services platform. Staff at North Hawai‘i Community Hospital and physicians practicing in North Hawai‘i can now access the same data and share information through a secure messaging system for more efficient clinical decision making and communication.

“These achievements have laid the foundation for readiness to operate in a changing health care environment,” said Susan B. Hunt, M.H.A., project director and CEO of HIBC. “Our providers on Hawai‘i Island are among the nation’s early adopters of best practices in health IT supported care delivery transformation. According to SK&A Research, close to 40 percent of our primary care providers have achieved Stage 1 Meaningful Use of their EHRs. We have made a remarkable journey in three years. Thanks to the commitment of local leaders, our health care system IT infrastructure is steadily advancing.”

Primary care practices are proactively managing the health of their patient populations by using EHRs and other forms of health IT to implement quality improvement activities, engage patients in care decisions and improve efficiency in coordinating care and services. Nineteen primary care practices serving approximately 20,000 patients achieved Patient Centered Medical Home status. To achieve this status, they completed a 12-month training program offered through TransforMED, a subsidiary of the American Academy of Family Physicians and were supported in this effort through the partnership of HIBC, the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii and the Hawai‘i Medical Service Association (HMSA).

HIBC is reducing barriers to care caused by geography and provider shortages by bringing telehealth technology to physicians’ offices and patients’ homes through partnerships with the Retina Institute of Hawaii and Hawaii Island Care Coordination Services. Advanced retinal screening devices and the cutting-edge iHealthHome® system have enabled more frequent monitoring and/or screening of patients for chronic disease management and intervention.

More than 500 patients with complex care needs enrolled in HIBC’s Care Coordination and Care Transitions initiatives throughout Hawai‘i County, including Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations at greater risk for chronic illness. The initiatives involved programs that test new ways to manage these illnesses. Through innovative and culturally appropriate approaches to care, these patients have made significant improvements in controlling blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. HIBC’s partners in this effort include Bay Clinic, Hamakua Health Center, West Hawaii Community Health Center, Hilo Medical Center, Kona Community Hospital, North Hawaii Community Hospital, the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii, Hui Mālama Ola Nā ‘Ōiwi, and Hawaii Island Care Coordination Services.

In addition, HIBC’s Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) program – endorsed by the Office of the Mayor for the County of Hawai‘i – funded community-based wellness projects for approximately 2,000 island residents.

“HIBC has done a tremendous job in bringing key stakeholders to the table,” said Sharon Vitousek, M.D., board president for HIBC. “Island-wide collaboration, partnerships between providers and community organizations, and showcasing Hawai‘i Island as an innovator on a national level – it’s something to be proud of and we have laid a solid foundation for a better health care system today and in the long run.”

HIBC’s federal cooperative agreement officially ends on Sept. 30, 2013. However, a great deal of interest remains in continuing the work that has been started by the participants in the project. HIBC stakeholders have committed to continuing to collaborate on further health care improvements for Hawai‘i Island.

Department of Education Releases Income Eligibility Guidelines for Free and Reduced-Price Meals

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) has announced its policy for free and reduced-price meals for children unable to pay the full price of meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Copies of the policy are available at public schools.

Children from households with income at or below the following levels are eligible for free or reduced-price meals:

INCOME CHART:  Effective July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014 Income Chart for Free and Reduced Lunches

Application forms are being sent to all homes with a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free or reduced-price meals, households should fill out one application and return it to the school where the child is enrolled or complete an online application via ezmealapp.com. Applications for the current school year (2013-2014) will be accepted beginning July 1, 2013. The application information will be used to determine eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by the school or other program officials.

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

Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.

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

Name of Hearing Official: Glenna Owens, DOE School Food Services Director
Address: 1106 Koko Head Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816

Phone Number: (808) 733-8414 or toll-free 1-800-441-4845

In certain cases, foster children are also eligible for school meal benefits. Households wishing to apply for meal benefits on behalf of foster children should contact the school for more information.

The information provided by the household is confidential and will be used only to determine eligibility and verify data.

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


Big Island Police Searching for 15-Year-Old Kona Girl Missing Since May

The Hawai´i Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a 15-year-old Kona teen.

Reina Aldorasi

Reina Aldorasi

Reina Aldorasi was last seen on Monday (May 27, 2013) at about 2:55 p.m. in Kailua-Kona and may possibly be in the Hawaii Ocean View Estates.

Aldorasi is 5’04” tall, weighing about 115 pounds, with dark brown hair, and was last seen wearing gray sweat pants with “PHAT” letters in pink and a gray t-shirt with “KAU HIGH” in maroon letters going across the front and also having a black hoodie.

Police ask that anyone with information on Aldorasi’s whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Officer Robert Sakata at 326-4646 ext. 276.

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.