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Captain Cook Woman in Custody in Connection With Theft of Car

A Captain Cook woman is in police custody in connection with the theft of a car from Kealakekua.

The Acura Legend sedan was removed from Māmalahoa Bypass Road on September 12.

Randi-Keli Banagan

Randi-Keli Banagan

Police investigation led to the arrest Wednesday afternoon (October 2) of 22-year-old Randi-Keli Banagan, who was already in custody at the Kona police cellblock on a contempt of court charge.

Criminal Investigations Section detectives charged her at 1:05 p.m. Thursday with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle. Her bail was set at $2,000. She remains at the cellblock pending her court appearance scheduled for Friday (October 4).

Tips From Public Lead to Arrest of Four During Burglary in Progress

Tips from the public Monday (September 30) led to the arrest of a man and three women during a burglary in progress in Hilo.

At 2:45 a.m. Monday, South Hilo patrol officers responded to a report of a suspicious truck at a home on the 2000 block of Ainaola Drive.

Responding officers found a 36-year-old Keaʻau man, Raylad Brown, and three women, 37-year old Linda Kamahele of Hilo, 38-year old Lorilei Brown of Keaʻau and 39-year old Jeraldine Brown of Keaʻau, with a pickup truck containing items from the property and the house.

All four were arrested and taken to the Hilo police cellblock.

Lorilei Brown

Lorilei Brown

Tuesday night, police charged Lorilei Brown with first-degree burglary and third-degree theft. Her bail was set at $51,000.

Kamahele was released pending further investigation.

Raylad Brown and Jeraldine Brown also were not charged in connection with Monday’s burglary pending further investigation.

However, Raylad Brown was charged with shoplifting in an unrelated case. His bail was set at $1,000. Jeraldine Brown was charged with theft and contempt of court in connection with outstanding warrants. Her bail was set at $12,500.

The three Browns were held at the cellblock until their initial court appearances on Wednesday.

Police commend the public for their diligence in reporting suspicious activities in their neighborhood.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Tweets Live During Lockdown as Shots Fired Outside US Capitol Building

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and her office were put on lockdown as gunshots were fired outside the US Capitol Building today in Washington DC.

She tweeted the following during the incident (read in reverse order for chronological sequence):

Gabbard Tweets
Here is a video of the chase that lead up to the shooting:

At a 6:00 pm ET (22:00 GMT) press conference, officials confirmed the car chase suspect is dead and that a child, approximately a year-old, was recovered from the suspect’s vehicle. The female suspect attempted to “breach” an outer-perimeter checkpoint to the White House just prior to a pursuit by police.

Miriam Carey

Miriam Carey

Washington reports the driver has been identified by law enforcement as Miriam Carey.

Coast Guard Establishing Evacuation Plan for Hawaii Islands in Case of Large Tsunami

If a large tsunami ever is about to hit Hawaii, like the one that hit Hilo in 1946, the Coast Guard is implementing an evacuation plan that would ensure the safe evacuation of boats and vessels from Harbors around the state.

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Emergency Operations Coordinator John Broward (left) and Chief Ranger Talmadge Magno (right) were instrumental in helping the park achieve its  TsunamiReady/StormReady designation.  NPS Photo/Stephen Geiger

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Emergency Operations Coordinator John
Broward (left) and Chief Ranger Talmadge Magno (right) were instrumental in
helping the park achieve its TsunamiReady/StormReady designation. NPS Photo/Stephen Geiger

There are no public meetings planned by here is some general information on the plan:

The Coast Guard is proposing to establish a permanent regulated navigation area (RNA) and to enforce this proposed regulation only when a tsunami warning is issued for the Hawaiian Islands by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Tsunami warnings require the evacuation of a large number of vessels from their respective harbors. Following the evacuation, these vessels must remain offshore until the emergency situation has passed and the harbors have been deemed safe for reentry.

Past tsunami warnings have created potentially dangerous offshore traffic congestion between commercial and recreational vessel traffic. Because of this, designated vessel traffic staging areas are necessary for a safe and orderly evacuation of Southern Oahu ports.

DATES: Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before November 4, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2012-0080. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. The following link will take you directly to the docket: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=USCG-2012-0080. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For more information click here: Coast Guard Evacuation Plan

Workshop Helps Increase the Appetite for Breadfruit

On Saturday, November 9, 2013 from 8:30 am – 1:30 pm the Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop will be held at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in South Kona. 

Breadfruit Festival

Photo credit: Angela Tillson, Courtesy of the Breadfruit Institute

Sponsored by Kamehameha Schools and Hawai‘i State Department of Agriculture, the half-day Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop will assist Hawai‘i’s breadfruit growers in supplying grocery stores, restaurants and farmers markets with high quality breadfruit, and help chefs become more familiar with breadfruit handling and preparation in the kitchen.

Backyard growers and home users of breadfruit will also find the workshop pertinent to home and community use of breadfruit.

Due to the sales and distribution of thousands of breadfruit trees in Hawai‘i, the production of breadfruit is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years—representing millions of dollars in potential retail sales of breadfruit in the next 5-8 years. Breadfruit can also play an increased key role in island food self-sufficiency, as it has been a primary staple food in the Pacific for thousands of years. The workshop teaches how to properly harvest, handle and utilize breadfruit to fully realize its commercial and community value.

Topics and speakers include: “Working with Variety”—an introduction to the three most common breadfruit varieties in Hawai‘i, presented by Dr. Diane Ragone, Director, Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. “Tree to Table”—harvesting techniques, tricks and tools, and postharvest handling, presented by Ian Cole, Collection Manager, Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. “Beyond Sticky”—preparing breadfruit for use in a variety of dishes or for storage, presented by Shirley Kauhaihao, Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu.  “Some Like It Sweet”—making gourmet dishes from ripe breadfruit, presented by John Cadman, Pono Pies. “Going To Market”—marketing and value added products, presented by Andrea Dean and Craig Elevitch, Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network and Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu project. “Food from the Gods” —Breadfruit and the cultural importance in the Pacific Islands, presented by Ku‘ulei Keakealani, Educational Coordinator, Ka‘ūpūlehu Interpretive Center at Kalaemanō.

The Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop will be followed by music and a locally grown lunch prepared by volunteers from the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, Hua o Ke Ao, and the West Hawai‘i Community College Culinary Arts Program.

Breadfruit—From Tree to Table is presented by Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden and the Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu—Revitalizing Breadfruit project and is cosponsored by Kamehameha Schools and the State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture.

Space is limited and advance registration is required. The workshop is $12 per person and lunch by donation.  To register please visit www.breadfruit.info. To volunteer at the workshop, to donate breadfruit or for general inquiries, please email hooulu@hawaiihomegrown.net or call Andrea Dean at 960-3727.

Federal Worker to Eat Cow Ball for Charity During Government Shutdown

The following post first appeared on the HuffPost Hawaii Site:

After moving to Hawaii in 1993, I’ve had chances to eat things many folks don’t get an opportunity to on the mainland.

Unfortunately, I have a very weak stomach and I don’t take advantage of all the great foods that Hawaii has to offer. Whether a common food, such as raw fish, or a staple such as poi, I just can’t seem to stomach them.

Cow balls getting ready to be cooked.

Cow balls getting ready to be cooked.

The last few years I’ve been invited to the Big Island of Hawaii’s premier food and agriculture event, the Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, where I’ve been able to sample and eat every part of a cow so far, except for, well… it’s BALLS, otherwise known as Rocky Mountain Oysters.

I don’t know why I’ve been so fearful of eating this part of a steer other then the thought of it pretty much disgusts me and churns my stomach. I’m sure I’ve probably had a few cow balls mixed in to my regular hamburger meat at times… it’s just I wouldn’t have known it.

I’ve always believed that if you have a fear of something, you should tackle that fear head-on. Why continue to live in fear of something when you can get over your fear and move past it?

I asked the following question to my friends on Facebook:

1. Have you ever eaten Rocky Mountain Oysters and what did they taste like to you?
2. If you had the chance to eat them in the past…. and didn’t eat them… why didn’t you?

Most of my friends said they tasted like chicken, but then I got this one comment from Leilehua Yuen: “I’ve eaten them prepared very well – tasted a bit like a cross between sweetbreads and brain. And I’ve eaten them prepared poorly – very salty and overcooked so they were too hard to chew. Both times, they had been breaded and deep-fried. Ono (good) with beer!”

Yes, Leilehua said, “BRAIN”!

As I said before, I have to move past my fears and I figured this year at the Taste of the Hawaiian Range I would volunteer to eat a Rocky Mountain Oyster if folks would pitch in for a non-profit charity. I will videotape my tasting and put it on my website.



I didn’t know what type of response I would get but then the offers to watch me choke down a cow ball started coming in. The local automobile magazine, Hawaii Motorhead was the first to pitch in so I offered them the opportunity to pick the non-profit and they have chosen The Food Basket, Inc. (a network that provides food for low income and homeless folks here on the Big Island of Hawaii).

After just a week of posting my offer to swallow down a cow ball and through generous contributions from Hawaii Motorhead, Craig Watanabe, Lucy Denise K. Mossman, Chris Henry, Dustin Acdal, Matt and Kehau Sproat (who don’t want to see the video as it’s too gross for them), Laura Kinoshita of Kinoshita Communications, Mahealani and Kevin Dayton as well as Mark Hinshaw I have now raised over $300 for the island’s food bank.

At the 18th Annual Taste of the Hawaiian Range, between 6-8 p.m. October 4, is where I will be filmed eating this cow ball… and yes, I will have a big glass of water next to me to wash it down. Wouldn’t it be funny if I actually ended up liking the “oyster”?

Thankfully Rocky Mountain Oysters are not the only thing on the menu as the “Taste” will offer 35 restaurants preparing numerous cuts of grass-fed beef–plus lamb, mutton, goat and feral and domestic pork.

And for all you vegetarians out there who I may have completely disgusted with this post, the Taste of the Hawaiian Range is not all about meat, although to this meat lover it seems like it at times but there will also be over 40 agriculture and educational booths for folks to peruse.

So I ask… how much money would it take for you to eat a Rocky Mountain Oyster?

Want to pitch in on this challenge?????

Kona Crime Prevention Committee Honors October Officer of the Month

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee recognized Officer Caroldeen “Nalani” Freitas as “Officer of the Month” for October in a luncheon ceremony Wednesday (October 2) at Huggo’s restaurant in Kailua-Kona.

Officer Caroldeen “Nalani” Freitas

Officer Caroldeen “Nalani” Freitas

Freitas, a 10-year veteran of the Hawaiʻi Police Department, was honored for her tireless off-duty work running a non-profit organization that helps people in need.

Fifteen years ago, Freitas founded Kaʻanalike, which means “sharing,” and she spends her off-duty hours providing food, clothing, furniture, money and other items to families in need. Sergeant Grad Elarionoff, who nominated Freitas for the award, said Kaʻanalike perpetuates the Spirit of Aloha.

“Nalani chooses to serve the public while on duty and she chooses to serve the public while off duty,” Elarionoff said. “Just the daily efforts of receiving donations and dispersing them to the needy can be overwhelming but for 15 years Nalani has pushed forward, growing her network and providing needed services.”

As “Officer of the Month,” Freitas will be eligible for the next “Officer of the Year” award.

Senator Brian Schatz on the Government Shutdown – “Let Them Vote”

Sen. Brian Schatz

Sen. Brian Schatz

Aloha —

Let them vote.

It has been widely reported today that a majority of the Republicans in the House would vote for a clean spending bill if it came to the floor. Of course a majority of Democrats have already pledged to support a clean bill to end the shutdown.

That means that a bill to end the shutdown right now would pass with over 300 votes in the House. America is being held hostage by a fraction of the far right of the Republican Party.

So let’s let them vote.

Every member of Congress, Republican or Democrat, deserves the opportunity to vote so that their constituents know exactly where they stand. In the Senate we have already voted to pass a clean bill to end this shutdown, but Speaker Boehner won’t let the House vote on it.

So, on behalf of my colleagues in the House, I am starting a petition to tell Speaker Boehner to let them vote.

Everyday that this shutdown continues is hurting our economy, and putting hard working families at risk. Representatives in the House deserve the opportunity to show their constituents where they stand.

Sign your name to tell Speaker Boehner: Let them vote!

It’s past time to move forward. The House needs to vote, but they need to hear it from you. Join me today to tell Speaker Boehner: Let them vote!

Brian Schatz
U.S. Senator

Big Island Police Charge Kona Man (Again) With Theft of Pickup Truck From Kona Airport

A Kona man has been charged with two offenses in connection with the theft of a pickup truck from Kona International Airport at Keāhole.

Colvin Gaspar

Colvin Gaspar

Sometime over the weekend (September 28-29), a 2004 Toyota Tacoma was removed from a parking area at the airport.

Kona patrol officers located the truck Monday (September 30) down an embankment off Koloko Drive. Investigation led to the arrest of 21-year-old Colvin Gaspar of Kailua-Kona. He was taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

On Tuesday (October 1), detectives charged Gaspar with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and second-degree theft. His bail was set at $20,000. He remained at the cellblock until his initial court appearance Wednesday (October 2).

Big Island Police Searching for Couple Wanted for Questioning in Connection With a Robbery

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a couple wanted for questioning in connection with a robbery.

At 3 a.m. on August 6, a 26-year-old Hilo man was reportedly assaulted in the parking lot of Coconut Island and had his pickup truck stolen. The truck, a white 2006 Toyota Tacoma (license plate KYM 755) has not been located.

John Curtis K. Kuhia

John Curtis K. Kuhia

Police want to question 30-year-old John Curtis K. Kuhia and his wife, 36-year-old Shanna Y. L. Carvalho-Kuhia. Kuhia is described as 5-foot-9, 188 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. Carvalho-Kuhia is described as 5-foot-9, 300 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. Their last known address was in Mountain View.

Police ask anyone with information on there whereabouts or the location of the truck to contact Detective Robert Almeida at 961-2386 or ralmeida@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.

DLNR Plans Lottery For Special Access Feral Cattle Control In Pu‘u ‘O‘o Area Of Hilo Restricted Watershed

The Department of Land and Natural Resources’ (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will be opening special access to Pu‘u ‘O‘o area of the Hilo Restricted Watershed for the control of feral cattle.


Special access will be granted to one hunter group per Saturday beginning Nov. 16, 2013, and running through the end of March 2014. Hunters will be selected through a random lottery drawing to be held on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, at the East Hawai‘i DOFAW office at 19 E. Kawili St., in Hilo.

The deadline for applications is Friday, Oct. 18, 2013.

Applications may be obtained at both the East and West Hawai‘i DOFAW offices or online at http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw.

These actions are pursuant to Hawai‘i Administrative Rules 13-124-7, Indigenous, Endangered, Threatened, and Injurious Wildlife, and Introduced Wild Birds, and as authorized by Hawai‘i Revised Statutes; 183-19 Exclusion of Livestock from Forest Reserves, Game Management Areas, and Public Hunting Areas and Title 13, Chapter 123, Unit D, Rules Regulating Game Mammal Hunting. Feral pigs and sheep may be hunted as usual. No dogs are allowed.

Special access will be temporarily granted into the Pu‘u ‘O‘o area of the Hilo Restricted Watershed BY PERMIT ONLY on the following dates:

  • Nov. 16, 23 and 30
  • Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 28
  • Jan. 4, 11, 18 and 25
  • Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22
  • March 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29

Applications must consist of a minimum of five and maximum of 10 licensed hunters as a group. Applicants may only submit their name on a single application. Duplicate entries will be discarded. Results of the random lottery drawing will be made available at both the East and West Hawai‘i DOFAW offices, as well as online at http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw.

Selected applicants must confirm acceptance of their assigned hunt period by calling the East Hawai‘i DOFAW office at (808) 974-4221 no later than noon Wednesday preceding their assignment. Permits will be issued and/or validated at the entrance gate into Pu‘u ‘O‘o near the 22 mile marker along Daniel K. Inouye Highway (formerly Saddle Road) on the Saturday morning of the assigned hunt. If selected applicants decline or do not call to confirm by the deadline, then a stand-by group will be chosen from the original list of applicants who were not previously selected. Stand-bys will be notified by phone. No stand-bys waiting at the gates will be allowed.

Access to the Hilo Restricted Watershed will be provided at Pu‘u ‘O‘o and a 4×4 vehicle is required. ATVs will be allowed on the access roads and parking area. There will be a bag limit of two cattle of either sex per licensed hunter.

Interested persons wanting additional details regarding the feral cattle control program, application process and/or special accommodations, may contact Division of Forestry and Wildlife in Hilo at (808) 974-4221.


Skydive Hawaii Offering 10 Free Tandem Jumps Each Day to Federal Workers Affected by Shutdown

Skydive Hawaii just posted the following comment on Facebook offering free tandem jumps to residents of Hawaii who are FEDERAL WORKERS AND HAVE BEEN AFFECTED by the Government Shutdown:

If you have a Hawaii ID and you are a Hawaii affected federal worker, how about we take up to 10 people a day at no charge for the skydive. Must be over 18 and weigh under 200 pounds and sign the liability release.If an affected worker has already made a deposit to make a tandem skydive during this period of shutdown, let us know and we’ll refund it and offer you a free tandem instead.

Setting a Hawaii Tandem Skydiving Altitude Record on December 10, 2011 at Skydive Hawaii

Setting a Hawaii Tandem Skydiving Altitude Record on December 10, 2011 at Skydive Hawaii

I will toss this in just for the fact of the matter… Please be prepared to show your Federal Identification badge or card.

They are also offering affected Federal workers with a Skydiving License a free lift in the sky:

We are very sad to hear that many people will be affected by the US Government‘s shutdown. Skydive Hawaii will be offering free lift tickets during the work week (Monday-Friday) to all USPA licensed sport skydivers who are federal workers directly affected by the shutdown. We will keep this up until you’re working again or we no longer can bear the costs.

Mahalo to Skydive Hawaii for hooking folks up during this time of need.  For more information on the promotion… you will need to call the company directly at 808-637-9700 or 808-945-0222.

Sunday – 2nd Annual Festival of Aloha

Festival of Aloha

Sam Choy, Sonny Bhagawalia Headline TechConKona 2.0

TechConKona, a full-day conference teaching business owners technology and sustainability solutions to boost their bottom line — will be held Saturday November 2nd at the NELHA Gateway Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A fundraising pau hana will follow from 4-6:30 pm to benefit the Guy Toyama Memorial Fund.

The conference is headlined by three prominent speakers:

Sonny Bhagwalia

Sonny Bhagwalia

Sonny Bhagawalia, the State of Hawaii’s first Chief Information Officer and champion of island-wide Wifi access;  Sam Choy, “Food Network” star, author and restauranteur; and Henk Rogers, who helped create Tetris, one of the world’s first computer games and founder of the Blue Planet Foundation. These well-known experts, along with 8 other dynamic speakers, will address small business owners, farmers, chefs, digital marketing and technology professionals and sustainability change agents.

Attendees will learn how technology and sustainability intersect for business success and focus on new systems, ideas, resources and information led by experts in the fields of food sustainability, digital marketing, Internet technology, and more.

The conference will address Hawaii island’s issues surrounding local food, labor, and resources, saving money using web technology and productivity tools, and working together to find systems that benefit the island AND local business.

“At TechConKona, our presenters and expert panelists will show business owners and managers how to use technology to boost their bottom line using affordable tools, while learning about sustainability practices which impact us all on a deep level, both personally and professionally,” said Julie Ziemelis, a key organizer of the event. “TechConKona is an exciting networking, educational and synergistic event which we are proud to present. Thought leaders, change agents and innovators are encouraged to attend and participate!”

The Pau Hana reception is being held in memory of Guy Toyama, who helped found the event last year. Guy, a local environmental and sustainability innovator, passed away last November and a memorial fund was set up in his name to fund scholarships for students in the fields of environmental sustainability.

Tickets to the event are $75 and VIP tickets are $100. Registered attendees receive full conference access, refreshments, post-event networking fundraising reception benefiting the Guy Toyama Memorial Fund and access to exhibitors. More about buying tickets and the speaker agenda can be found at www.TechConKona.com

Companies interested in being exhibitors at the event can contact Julie Ziemelis, Ziemelis Communications, at 808-854-6769 or email julie@ziemelis.com.

The conference, which will feature exhibitors, networking opportunities, a luncheon, and a pau-hana business reception, is sponsored by the County of Hawaii, the Small Business Development Center, Mac Made Easy, Natural Investments, Ziemelis Communications and Hafner Creative Communications.

Governor Abercrombie’s Statement Regarding the Federal Government Shutdown

Gov. Neil Abercrombie recently met with bond purchasers and major credit rating agencies in Los Angeles and New York to confirm Hawaii’s solid fiscal condition.


While meeting with the credit agencies, it was clear to them that the shutdown of the federal government could have serious detrimental effects on the economies for all states.  The federal shutdown could also compromise much of the accomplishments that Hawaii has achieved in the past few years emerging from the economic recession.

Gov. Abercrombie stated:

“The State of Hawaii cannot substitute for the federal government nor assume its obligations. However, with the report from the Sequestration Impact Response Team in hand, resources funded this past legislative session, and the readiness of all departments in the administration to respond to the shutdown, we are confident in our ability to address immediate contingencies.  It is the clear responsibility of Congress to end the shutdown as quickly as possible and to meet continuously until that is accomplished.”

Big Island Police Asking Public’s Help in Identifying Human Remains

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in identifying human remains found in Kona last week.

HPDBadgeShortly after 7:30 a.m. Friday (September 27), Kona patrol officers responded to a report of human remains found in a vacant lot on the south side of Ololi Street in Kailua-Kona.

Officers found the decomposed body of a man believed to be a Caucasian between 50 and 60 years old, about 5-foot-3 and 150 pounds. All his upper teeth were capped. He was wearing shorts made of sweatshirt material, water socks and a jade crucifix hanging from a string around his neck. Found near the body was a dark backpack. The man may have been living on the empty lot.

An autopsy performed Friday determined that he died of natural causes.

Police ask anyone who may know his identity to contact Detective Joshua Lewis at 326-4646, extension 228, or jlewis@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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

Big Island Police Initiating Coroners Inquest in Connection With Fatal Fire

Hawaiʻi Island police have initiated a coroner’s inquest case in connection with a fatal fire Monday night (September 30) in Kaʻū.

In response to a 9:09 p.m. report of a structure fire on Bamboo Lane in the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates subdivision, Kaʻū Patrol officers arrived to find Fire Department personnel extinguishing a fire that destroyed a small house. After putting out the flames, Fire Department personnel found the remains of an unidentified man inside.

Fatal Fire
An autopsy has been scheduled for Wednesday (October 2) to determine the exact cause of death and to attempt to identify the deceased.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Police ask anyone with information about this case to contact Detective Sean Smith at 326-4646, extension 262, or ssmith@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.

Government Shutdown Forces Closure of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park – 217 Employees Affected

Because of the shutdown of the federal government caused by the lapse in appropriations, the National Park Service (NPS) has closed all 401 national parks, including Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.  All visitor facilities including Kīlauea Visitor Center, park hotels, campgrounds and roads – except for Highway 11, a thru way – are closed.  The park will remain closed until the government reopens.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Entrance

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Entrance

Superintendent Cindy Orlando said that park visitors in all overnight campgrounds and lodges will be given until 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 3 to make travel arrangements and leave the park. In addition, all park programs and special events have been canceled, including tonight’s After Dark in the Park presentation on earthquakes.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park hosts 4,500 visitors on average each day; nationally, more than 715,000 visitors a day frequent the National Park System. The park will lose an estimated $12,800 of entrance fees each day of the shutdown, plus other fees. Nationwide the NPS stands to lose approximately $450,000 per day in lost revenue from fees collected at entry stations and fees paid for in-park activities such as cave tours, boat rides and camping. Gateway communities across the country see about $76 million per day in total sales from visitor spending that is lost during a government shutdown. Visitors spend about $96,990,000 a year in the communities around Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, or approximately $265,726 a day.

In Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, 127 employees are on furlough because of the shutdown and another 90 concessions employees are similarly affected.  Thirteen park employees remain on duty, providing security and emergency services.

Nationwide the shutdown has also furloughed more than 20,000 National Park Service employees; approximately 3,000 employees remain on duty to ensure essential health, safety, and security functions at parks and facilities. About 12,000 park concessions employees are also affected.

Because it will not be maintained, the National Park Service website will be down for the duration of the shutdown. NPS.gov has more than 750,000 pages and 91 million unique visitors each year.

For updates on the shutdown, please visit www.doi.gov/shutdown.

About the National Park Service. National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.


Snakes on the Pali – Boa Constrictor Becomes Roadkill on Pali Highway

A dead snake was turned over to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) last week after it was apparently run over and killed by a Windward motorist on the Pali Highway last Sunday (Sept. 22).

This was a snake found ran over on the mainland.  National Parks Service Photo

This was a snake found ran over on the mainland. National Parks Service Photo

The motorist said he was traveling town-bound on the Pali Highway near the entrance to the Nuuanu Reservoir at about 5 p.m. last Sunday when he ran over the five-foot long snake. He pulled over and picked up the dead snake and took it to a relative’s home. The motorist called HDOA Monday afternoon and Plant Quarantine inspectors picked up the snake, which was later identified as a boa constrictor.

After picking up the dead snake within an hour after it was reported, several inspectors went directly to the area where it was found but did not find evidence of any other snakes.

“Any snake found in the wild in Hawaii is of serious concern,” said Russell S. Kokubun, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “Boa constrictors may grow up to 12 feet, which is particularly troubling for nearby residents and for the environment.”

Snakes are illegal to possess and transport to Hawaii and HDOA urges those who spot illegal animals or who know of persons possessing illegal animals to call the state’s PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST(7378).  Snakes and large lizards have no natural predators in Hawaii and pose a serious threat to Hawaii’s environment because they compete with native animal populations for food and habitat. Many species also prey on birds and their eggs, increasing the threat to our endangered native birds. Large snakes may also kill pets and even humans.

The state’s Amnesty Program allows illegal animals to be turned in and provides immunity from prosecution. Illegal animals may be turned in to any HDOA Office, Honolulu Zoo, Panaewa Zoo in Hilo or any Humane Society — no questions asked and no fines assessed. Animals turned in under amnesty will not be euthanized. The maximum penalty under state law for possessing and/or transporting illegal animals, a class C felony, is a $200,000 fine and up to three years in prison.

Will Work For Food – Laid Off Government Worker

With the Federal Government now shut down…. I wonder how many Federal workers will be filing for unemployment tomorrow?

The sad thing about unemployment… is you don’t get paid for the first week you are on it as that is called a “waiting period”.  During this waiting period… folks are required to fill out all sorts of paperwork, attend a class, look for at least three jobs…. etc.

Well crap by the end of the one week waiting period… my guess is we will be back to work.

The dilemma? Do I go down there and spend half a day just waiting in lines and then spend 20 + hours of my time this week doing mandated unemployment stuff just to possibly get called back to work the next week or possibly even the next day?

Well I think I’ll hold off for a while and hopefully I will get back to work soon enough.  The sad thing for me… is both my wife and I are now effectively laid off!

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