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How Does Hawaii Learn from Mainland School Shootings – Lessons from Sandy Hook and A Swift Paddle to the Ass

Today marks the anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy where innocent kids were killed for reasons we may never know.  Sadly we had another shooting today in Colorado as well!

How does Hawaii learn from these mainland tragedies that seem to be happening more and more?

I know for a fact that Pahoa High and Elementary School has a police officer on campus that shares his time there and the Keaau High School Campus.

This hits home for me personally as a few years ago a former student at my son’s school was allegedly threatening his former school and was headed there wearing a school uniform with alleged intentions of harming the school and anyone present there!

Should we put police on all High School Campuses?  Should we arm school security guards?  Remember “Lock Down Drills” when you were younger?

Yep... I brought "caps" to school at Larrabee Elementary!

Yep… I brought “caps” to school at Larrabee Elementary!

Yes… I was the kid in elementary school that got swatted by Mr. Gallagher for bringing “Caps” to school in elementary school just for the fun of it back in the early 1970’s!   I probably would have been shot and or put in jail had I tried something like that in today’s society… but then again… Principals today would go to jail for busting out wooden paddles on students… so I guess we’re even!

Department of Education Lifting the Hold on Sex Ed Curriculum “Pono Choices”

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is lifting the hold on one of its sexual education curriculum. A review of Pono Choices confirmed the curriculum is medically accurate, appropriate and aligned with health education, state law and DOE policy.

DOE ReleasePono Choices was put on hold last month pending a review of curriculum concerns brought to the DOE’s attention. Pono Choices is a teen pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) prevention program funded by the federal Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) and developed by the University of Hawaii at Manoa Center on Disability Studies (CDS).

“Our review not only affirmed that the curriculum meets department standards, but it also showed that Pono Choices is a culturally responsive curriculum that has resulted in positive outcomes for students,” stated Leila Hayashida, assistant superintendent for the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Student Support. “In this case that means more youth abstaining from sex and less teen pregnancy and STI transmission.”

Twelve DOE schools are slated to teach Pono Choices next semester. Some of these schools have been using the curriculum for the past four semesters, and other schools will be using the curriculum for the first time.

“All of the schools have teachers who have been trained to deliver the curriculum as it is intended to be delivered so that the learning that takes place is standard and consistent across schools,” noted Hayashida.

During the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years, 12 DOE schools chose to implement the Pono Choices curriculum as a part of sexual health education. Each school held parent informational sessions prior to use. Eight other DOE schools are scheduled to receive training this school year.

“We greatly appreciate the careful and thoughtful review process that took place,” said Pono Choices Principal Investigator Dr. Kelly Roberts. “We look forward to continuing our work with parents and teachers about educating our students on how to abstain from sex, how to refuse unwanted sexual pressures and how to prevent a pregnancy and a STI.”

Parents in schools implementing the curriculum are invited to a Pono Choices Parent Night through a letter that is sent home with their child. The letter provides the date, time and location of the parent night presentation and informs the parent or guardian that their child will be studying teen pregnancy and STI prevention as part of health education and that the school will be using the Pono Choices curriculum. The letter also provides information about the curriculum and explains that it teaches students how to correctly use a condom to prevent pregnancy and STIs. The entire DOE abstinence-based policy is also provided in the letter.

Taught in middle schools, sexual health education focuses on short-and long-term effects and consequences of sexual activity, such as an unintended pregnancy or STIs. All DOE approved sex education curricula are in compliance with the Board of Education’s abstinence-based sex education Policy 2110. For any curriculum or lesson that addresses reproductive health, parents have the option of requesting that their child not receive the instruction.

 

Tyson and Kyson – Father and Son Arrested and Charged After Being Stopped in Stolen Car

A Hilo man and his son have been arrested and charged with assorted offenses after being stopped in a stolen car.

On December 9, a home on Kupukupu Street in Hilo was broken into and several items were stolen, including keys to a sports-utility vehicle, which also was taken.

Kyson Dameron

Kyson Dameron

Wednesday afternoon (December 11), police officers stopped the stolen SUV on Highway 11. The driver, 37-year-old Tyson Prim, and his son, 18-year-old Kyson Dameron, both of Hilo, were arrested and taken to the Hilo police cellblock, while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

Tyson Prim

Tyson Prim

On Thursday, detectives released Dameron pending further investigation.

Immediately upon his release, South Hilo patrol officers arrested Dameron again on suspicion of fraudulent use of a credit card in an unrelated case. The card, along with jewelry and cash, had been taken during a burglary in the Waiākea area on December 2. The stolen card had been used at various Hilo businesses 15 times between the time of the burglary and Dameron’s arrest.

Friday morning, detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section charged Prim with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle. His bail was set at $10,000. He made his initial court appearance Friday afternoon.

Later Friday, South Hilo Patrol officers charged Dameron with first-degree burglary, 16 counts of theft, eight counts of forgery, 15 counts of fraudulent use of a credit card and 15 counts of identity theft. He was also charged with two additional counts of first-degree burglary for break-ins in Waiākea on December 4 and December 10, during which a laptop, jewelry and cash were stolen.

Dameron’s bail was set at $106,750. He remains at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday.

 

Governor Releases $3.03 Million in Capital Improvement Grants to Local Nonprofits

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $3.03 million for various capital improvement grants to Hawaii-based nonprofit organizations whose missions benefit island communities.

From the Governor's Desk

“We recognize that nonprofit organizations are the state’s partners in providing services that are important to the people of Hawaii,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Through this collaboration, we are better able to address issues that range from pediatric health care, foster care and elderly assistance; to support for the arts and preservation of Hawaii’s most treasured landmarks.”

Allotment of funds for the following projects were identified by members of the state Legislature and approved by the Governor:

$1,500,000 – Friends of Shriners Hospital, Oahu – Final construction of the capital improvement project for the Hale Ohana Family Center that will provide temporary housing needs for needy families residing outside the urban area of Honolulu accompanying their children for treatment at the hospital (The facility is part of the national network of children hospitals specializing in orthopedic and burn care. The Honolulu hospital is a 24-bed pediatric orthopedic hospital, providing care for children with bone, joint and neuromuscular conditions in Hawaii and throughout the Asia/Pacific region. It serves a geographic area larger than the continental United States with health care services to children from such locations as American Samoa, Chuuk, Fiji, Guam, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Saipan.)

$435,000 – Hale Opio Kauai, Inc., Kauai – Renovation and upgrading of Hale Opio’s three-story administration building, including renovating the broken air conditioning system, replacing the current windows with energy efficient ones, upgrading the lighting system, and installing a photovoltaic system on the roof to reduce energy costs (Hale Opio administers more than 20 residential and community-based programs, including therapeutic foster homes, emergency shelters, intake and assessment, Kauai Teen Court, violence prevention, First Job Academy, teen programs, and truancy prevention.)

$500,000 – Maui Economic Opportunity Transportation Center, Maui – Construction of a centralized facility to provide a one-stop service for bus washing and vacuuming (MEO provides county-subsidized on-demand transportation services to the elderly, low-income individuals, persons with disabilities, and medically needy residents, as well as to preschool children and disadvantaged youth in Maui County.)

$250,000 – Friends of Iolani Palace, Oahu – Restoration, repair and refinishing of interior and exterior walls, ceilings, flooring and windows at Iolani Palace, Iolani Barracks and the Kanaina Building; funds will also be used to address termite damage, complete electrical system improvements, and install security cameras and other security improvements (The nonprofit organization has been managing and maintaining Iolani Palace, which is the only royal palace in the United States; approximately 61,000 visitors tour the palace each year.)

$230,000 – Waikiki Community Center, Oahu – Repairs and improvements to three of the center’s buildings to enhance public safety, including replacing damaged exterior face boards, eaves, flashing and roof support beams; applying waterproof membranes and sealants onto new roofing materials to prevent leakage and reduce the interior heat by 10 degrees; installing and replacing damaged gutters and re-positioning misplaced drainage downspouts; and repairing small structural cracks and painting the exterior of the buildings (The nonprofit center serves as a “one-stop” center for health and human services, social support, counseling, lifelong education and wellness, and community building for Waikiki’s children, families and elderly as well as a gathering place for the community.)

$120,000 – Honolulu Academy of Arts, Oahu – Planning for a new Teacher Resource Art Center adjacent to the Art School for the Museum (Due to space constraints, the current art school cannot meet the demands of the local constituencies requesting art classes. As such, the “Our Museum, Our Community, Our Future” planning project will include plans for a new facility for studio art classrooms, teacher training, a community library/knowledge center, and additional art storage.)

Working Group Announces Recommendations to Strengthen Hawaii’s Juvenile Justice System

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Senate President Donna Mercado Kim and House Speaker Joseph Souki today received a comprehensive package of policy recommendations from Hawaii’s Juvenile Justice Working Group. In August, these four state leaders charged the inter-branch, bipartisan working group with developing policy recommendations to maximize the effectiveness of Hawaii’s juvenile justice system, improve outcomes for youth and families, and ensure policies and practices are grounded in data and research.

Click to read report

Click to read report

The working group answered the charge with 24 recommendations that will reduce recidivism and rehabilitate more youth. These policies will focus juvenile justice system resources on protecting public safety and more effectively using bed space at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility (HYCF); strengthen community supervision and probation practices across the Hawaii islands; increase resources and access to critical mental health and substance abuse; and sustain effective, proven practices.

Currently, HYCF costs taxpayers $199,000 per bed, per year, yet provides little return on this large investment. A recent study revealed that 75 percent of youth exiting HYCF are re-adjudicated or reconvicted within three years of release. Research indicates that, for many youth, residential placement generally fails to produce better outcomes, and can even increase the risk of recidivism when compared with lower-cost, community-based alternatives such as probation, outpatient mental health or substance abuse treatment, and evidence-based programming.

“By reviewing the data, we now have a clear picture of what is driving costs and recidivism within our juvenile system,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “The working group took a hard look at what is and isn’t working, and then developed concrete policy recommendations that will equip our communities to achieve far better outcomes for youth and their families.”

After studying Hawaii data and meeting extensively with stakeholders, the working group found that, while Hawaii has reduced commitments to HYCF by 41 percent in the last decade, there are still many youth who could be more effectively supervised and rehabilitated with the right alternatives in their own communities. For example, many youth were placed in HYCF for a misdemeanor or nonviolent offense. Additionally, the youth being sent to HYCF are staying longer than at any point since 2004: the average length of time has increased 188 percent since 2004.

Importantly, the working group believes that critical services to reduce delinquency in youth, including mental health and substance abuse treatments, are not sufficiently available and resources must be prioritized to building up those services. The working group also found that probation practices varied dramatically by circuit and surveys of probation officers revealed deep concerns about the availability of and access to treatment and community services for youth on probation.

“Hawaii has long sought a more effective juvenile justice system, in which our judges have the tools and sentencing options necessary to reduce recidivism and improve a young person’s chances of success,” Chief Justice Recktenwald said. “The working group’s recommendations provide our state with a roadmap towards a juvenile justice system that more effectively helps youth and their families, while also protecting public safety.”

Under the recommendations, youth convicted of a misdemeanor offense would not be eligible for commitment to HYCF, allowing them to remain on their home island with their families and participate in less costly, more effective community-based alternatives. This approach would permit the state to focus HYCF on youth who require the most serious interventions and to reinvest the savings into community resources across the state.

“These recommendations call for more tools throughout the juvenile justice system that are primarily focused on putting youth back on track to living healthy and safe lives,” said Senate President Donna Mercado Kim. “And strengthening juvenile justice within our communities is the right step for our islands and our youth.”

The complete list of policy recommendations includes:

focusing HYCF bed space on more serious juvenile offenders;
clarifying and strengthening juvenile parole and reentry practices;
clearly defining diversion options for lower-level youth;
maximizing probation effectiveness in every circuit;
equipping probation officers with tools to manage youth behavior;
increasing collaboration with partner agencies; and
sustaining effective practices.

“Hawaii has the opportunity to use this inter-branch, bi-partisan process to take huge steps forward with our juvenile justice system,” House Speaker Joseph Souki said. “Moving forward, Hawaii will use secure beds in the most effective way to reduce recidivism, while providing more safe alternatives to incarceration that can keep juveniles with their families and increase their chances of success.”

Taken together, the policy recommendations are projected to accelerate current trends, reducing the HYCF average daily population by 60 percent by 2019. This shift will allow the closure of the Hookipa Makai cottage during the 2015 fiscal year, and save Hawaii taxpayers at least $11 million over the next five fiscal years.

The recommendations follow months of work by the group led by Senior Family Court Judge R. Mark Browning, House Committee on Human Services Chair Rep. Mele Carroll, and Department of Human Services Deputy Director Barbara Yamashita.

The 20-member working group, launched in August, drew members from all three branches of state government, and includes representatives of local government, prosecutors, law enforcement, probation, non-profit service providers, and other key juvenile justice stakeholder groups. The group received technical assistance from The Pew Charitable Trusts’ public safety performance project.

 

California Visitor Dies After Scuba Diving in Waters Off Kona Identified as James Uihlein

Hawaiʻi Island police have initiated a coroner’s inquest case in connection with the death of a diver Thursday (December 12), in waters off Kona.

HPDBadgeAt 7:12 p.m., Fire Department personnel responded to Honokōhau Harbor for a report of an unresponsive man who was diving off the Kona Coast.

A 55-year-old man identified as James Uihlein of Fallbrook, California, had been scuba diving off a commercial dive boat when he became unresponsive. After returning to shore, Fire Department rescue personnel took him to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:27 p.m.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Coast Guard Icebreaker Visits Honolulu

The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star made a scheduled port call to Honolulu Friday as it transits to conduct missions in the Antarctic.

The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, home-ported in Seattle, made a scheduled port call in Honolulu, Friday, as it transits to conduct missions in the Antarctic. The Polar Star departed Seattle Dec. 3 for Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze for the first time since 2006 with the vital task of resupplying the National Science Foundation Scientific Research in McMurdo. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle)

The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, home-ported in Seattle, made a scheduled port call in Honolulu, Friday, as it transits to conduct missions in the Antarctic. The Polar Star departed Seattle Dec. 3 for Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze for the first time since 2006 with the vital task of resupplying the National Science Foundation Scientific Research in McMurdo. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Molle)

The Polar Star departed Seattle Dec. 3 for Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze for the first time since 2006 with the vital task of resupplying the National Science Foundation Scientific Research Station in McMurdo.

For more than 50 years Coast Guard icebreakers have deployed to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze. They will assist by creating a navigable shipping lane through the layers of ice in McMurdo Sound. Approximately eight million U.S. gallons of fuel will be sent to McMurdo residents through the channel and be delivered to Winter Quarters Bay. This fuel allows the Station to remain manned and ready during the freezing winter months.

This past summer Polar Star conducted sea trials in the Arctic to test all of the ship’s equipment and train the crew prior to embarking to Antarctica this winter. During the summer trip, Polar Star spent weeks in the Beaufort Sea north of Barrow, Alaska, testing propulsion machinery, conducting emergency drills and qualifying crewmembers in individual watchstations.

With a tumultuous schedule leading up to Polar Star’s Deep Freeze Deployment, the crew have not only overhauled many vital pieces of equipment from the bridge to the engine rooms, but have successfully completed a number of assessments to achieve their fully reactivated status.

Polar Star is a 399-foot polar class icebreaker with a 140-person crew. The cutter is recently out of a three-year, $90 million overhaul, which is part of the Coast Guard’s plan to reactivate the heavy icebreaker.

 

Big Island Police Searching for 16-Year-Old Hilo Girl Missing Since November

2/3/14 UPDATE: Hawaiʻi Island police have located 16-year-old Brianna Kehaulani Freitas-Jones of Hilo, who was reported missing.  She was found in good health Friday (January 31) in Puna.

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 16-year-old Hilo girl who was reported missing.

Brianna Kehaulani Freitas-Jones

Brianna Kehaulani Freitas-Jones

Brianna Kehaulani Freitas-Jones was last seen in Hilo the afternoon of November 18. She is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-7, 130 pounds with green eyes and long brown hair.

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

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

3.0 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area of Big Island

A 3.0 magnitude earthquake hit the volcano area of the Big Island around 10:00 this morning:

30 Volcano2

Big Island Police Asking Public’s Help in Identifying Two Folks Caught on Surveilance Attempting to Burglarize Fast Food Restaurant

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in identifying two persons captured on surveillance video during an attempted burglary at a fast food restaurant in Hilo.
Fast Food Thief
The attempted burglary on the 200 block of Waiānuenue Avenue took place in the early hours of October 8.

Fast Food Thief 2

The suspects did not make entry but caused damage to a security screen door.

Police ask anyone who knows the identity of the individuals in the photos to contact Detective Grant Todd at 961-2385 or gtodd@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.

 

Gun Threat at UH Hilo Was a Hoax – Man Arrested for False Reporting

Hawaiʻi Island police have determined that a report of a gun threat Monday at a college campus in Hilo was unfounded.

Louis H. Bartlow

Louis H. Bartlow

The terroristic threatening case has been closed and the man who reported it, 25-year-old Louis H. Bartlow of Kalapana, has been charged with a crime.

On Monday morning, Bartlow, who claimed to be an employee of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, reported that he had been accosted on campus by a man with a firearm.

Investigation by detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section revealed that the incident did not occur and that Bartlow is not a university employee.

At 12:30 p.m. Thursday (December 12) police arrested Bartlow and charged him with false reporting to law enforcement authorities, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. His bail was set at $500. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Friday (December 13).

Update to Crater Rim Drive Lane Closure

The westbound lane fronting Steam Vents will be closed for up to 10 weeks, Monday through Thursday, while crews replace a deteriorated water main.

Lava “waterfall” from the Mauna Ulu eruption, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. C. 1970

Lava “waterfall” from the Mauna Ulu eruption, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. C. 1970

Weekly work will be completed during four 10-hour days, instead of five eight-hour days. There will be no construction work or lane closure in the area on Fridays.

Traffic controllers will alternate traffic flow through the single open lane, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Wait times to pass the construction area should not exceed 15 minutes.

Both lanes will be open to traffic when there is no active construction.

The project will replace approximately 3,000 feet of failing pipe that supplies water to Jaggar Museum and the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

 

New DOE Website Makes School Growth Data Transparent to Public

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is pleased to make available to parents, students and the broader Hawaii community a public version of the Hawaii Growth Model data visualization website.

This interactive website allows users to click among multiple data streams comparing the state’s Complex Areas, schools and student groups, generating bubble charts that plot how those groups are faring according to two key yardsticks: Proficiency and Growth.

lets get started

“The launch of the public Hawaii Growth Model data visualization website is an exciting step in the Department’s journey to provide better information about school performance, in timely, easy-to-access, user-friendly ways,” said Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe. “The ability to visualize growth data in context with how a school or Complex is performing in relation to others over time is critical to building understanding and collaborative action.”

Explore our website at HawaiiPublicSchools.org for key information about this powerful new tool:

· An overview of the Growth Model, with a navigation video of the Growth Model website;
· Frequently Asked Questions about the Growth Model.
In addition to viewing student growth data by school and Complex Area, users can drill down into rich data sets and view:

· School performance on the Strive HI Index
· Median growth percentiles
· Student proficiency
· Performance among student groups
Since summer 2013, DOE teachers and key staff have been using a private version of the Growth Model website to analyze student achievement data that helps inform instruction and guide school initiatives. The staff website is protected by federal and DOE regulations from being released publicly. Users of the public Growth Model website cannot view data for populations of fewer than 20 students.

By making comprehensive data sets easily sortable and searchable, the Growth Model website supports all three goals of the Department’s Strategic Plan: Student Success, Staff Success, and Successful Systems of Support.

Explore the Hawaii Growth Model website here: http://growthmodel.hawaiipublicschools.org

The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 288 schools and serves more than 185,000 students. To learn more about the Department, its goals and vision for success, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

 

Coast Guard Press Release on Todays Plane Wreck Off Molokai – Health Director Loretta Fuddy Confirmed Dead

The Coast Guard transported three passengers to Emergency Medical Services after a plane crashed in the ocean approximately one mile off Kalaupapa, Molokai, Wednesday.

Photo via Andrew Pereirra Survivors of today's plane crash were airlifted to waiting ambulances. Courtesy: Catherine Cluett/Molokai Dispatch

Photo via Andrew Pereira on Facebook: Survivors of today’s plane crash were airlifted to waiting ambulances.
Courtesy: Catherine Cluett/Molokai Dispatch

Coast Guard watchstanders at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center received report of a plane crash with nine passengers aboard at 3:27 p.m. Wednesday.

The Coast Guard launched two MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews and one HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point on Oahu. Coast Guard Cutters Ahi and Galveston Island, home-ported in Honolulu, and two 45-foot Response-Boat Medium crews from Station Maui were also dispatched to the scene.

Rescue swimmers from the Dolphin helicopters were deployed, rescuing three passengers in the water. Maui Fire Rescue rescued additional passengers.

Three people were transported by Dolphin helicopter crews to Honolulu for emergency medical services. Two people were transported by a Makani CKai company plane to Honolulu and the rest of the passengers remained on Molokai.

For more information, contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu public affairs officer at (808) 292-3692.

If imagery for this case becomes available, it will be released in an updated press release.

– See more at: http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/2019390/Plane-crashes-in-ocean-in-Hawaii-Coast-Guard-transports-passengers-to-medical-care#sthash.KDCgtsZk.dpuf

Gun Threat Reported at UH Hilo

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating a suspect and vehicle wanted in connection with a reported threat incident Monday morning (December 9) at a college campus in Hilo.

UH Hilo Moniker
At about 10:06 a.m. Monday, police received a report from 25-year-old male employee of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo that at about 9 a.m., while he was near the upper campus, he was accosted by a local male who allegedly brandished a firearm and pointed it at him before fleeing the area in a black Toyota pickup truck.

The victim left the campus and went home to Puna before calling police to report the threat. He was not injured in the incident.

The suspect was described as a local male in his 30s with a dark complexion and a neatly trimmed beard with long sideburns to his chin. He was wearing black sunglasses. The truck was described as a lifted black Toyota Tacoma with black rims and dark black tint and a white “NSPYR” sticker near the gas fill cover.

Police advise the public not to approaching the truck, as the operator may be armed and is considered dangerous.

Instead, anyone who has information about this case or the identity or whereabouts of the suspect or vehicle is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Clarence Davies at 961-2384 or cdavies@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.

 

Update on the Big Island Shark Attack

The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officers and DLNR Aquatic Resources staff are responding to a report of a shark incident that took place today between 8 to 8:30 a.m. in ocean waters between the County’s Punaluu Beach Park and Ninole, in Ka’u District of the island of Hawaii.

It was reported by Hawaii County Police that a male, 29 years old and two friends were in the water body boarding about 7 a.m. About an hour later, while the male was paddling back out, he was about 20 yards from shore when he was hit and knocked of his board by a shark. Type of shark is thought to have been a 10 to 12 foot tiger shark according to the victim’s friends.

According to DOCARE, water depth was about 8-12 feet , conditions windy with surf. The male was transported by friends via private vehicle to a hospital in Pahala with non life-threatening injuries.

Shark Sighted

Hawaii County Police have confirmed to DOCARE that Punaluu Beach Park has been closed by Hawaii County Lifeguards. Lifeguards have posted shark warning signs at Punaluu beach park, which will remain closed the rest of today. The fire department helicopter flew over the area at 10 a.m. today and will do so again tomorrow morning, If there is no further sighting of sharks the park will reopen at noon tomorrow.

Ka’u Kako’o, a local community outreach group at Punaluu will help to inform beachgoers that the beach is closed.

 

Tiger Shark Bites Body Boarder Off the Big Island

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a shark bite that occurred Wednesday (December 11) at Punaluʻu in the area of Punaluʻu Beach and Nīnole Bay.

Shark Sighted
At approximately 8 a.m., a 29-year-old Captain Cook man reported being bitten by a shark while body boarding in the area of Nīnole Bay, which is just south of Punaluʻu Beach Park.

Officers contacted the victim at Kaʻū Hospital, where he was being treated for his non-life-threatening injuries. The victim reported being approximately 20 yards off shore in 8 feet of water when the shark attack occurred. He was body boarding with two friends, who identified the shark as being a Tiger shark 10 -12 feet long.

The victim is expected to be released from the hospital after treatment.

The beach was closed and is expected to remain closed until noon Friday (December 13).

Commentary – Saving The Ala Kahakai “Kings” Trail

We are asking for everyones support on this issue and make aware of what is happening here.

The Ala Kahakai “Kings” trail starts from the Puna district to the northern end of Kohala.  Part of this trail is the Ala Loa trail, meaning “long trail”.  The Ala Loa  trail was added to the National Register of Historic places as number 87001127 in 1987 and then to the State Registry of Historic places as site 10-10-11, 334 on January 14, 1989.

Ala Kahakai trail

This trail runs from Kiholo Bay to Kalahuipaua near Puako.  And Puako has already been bought out by the wealthy and non-Hawaiians.  The Kings trail continues further north by Upolu point near Mo’okini Heaiu, which my ancestors were the caretakers.

A section of  “Ala Loa” will be destroyed if we don’t say or do something.  Built by our King and our ancestors, this trail was made so that we may have access to our natural resources.  However, if we don’t do anything, we will have to ask permission from the developers to have access. It is currently our right to access this trail anytime.

Please take the time to read and understand why this has significant cultural concerns (including burial sites) and value regarding the Ala Loa trail on the moku of Hawai’i. This transaction by the County Council was deviant, intentionally hiding, not following the appropriate process, no community input and cultural archeological research conducted (locally).  When will it end?  Until we have nothing left?

There is a County Council meeting regarding Res. 140-13 on December 17, 2013 and would like your support to oppose the passage of this resolution.  The time for the hearing will be available on Thursday 12/12/13.  If you cannot attend, please submit your testimony at  counciltestimony@co.hawaii.hi.us

Mahalo nui loa no ka mea a pau

L. Lahilahi DeSoto-McCollough

Resolution 140-13: Kohala Kai LLC threatens public and traditional ala loa use and should stay in Committee until the issues are addressed and resolved.  

FACT: The ala loa trail provides public access along West Hawaii’s shoreline and is a traditional, native Hawaiian resource.

THREAT:  If the County Council passes Resolution 140-13, a dangerous precedent in favor of exclusive, private coastal development will be set as Kohala Kai LLC is approved to destroy a segment of the ala loa trail. Your rejection of Resolution 140-13 must be voiced before  the Next  County Council meeting 12/17/13, send in testimony or testify in person at any satellite office

EFFORTS:  Representatives from the North Kohala Community Access Group, the NKCDP Action Committee, neighboring Kailapa homestead, and E Mau Na Ala Hele have all requested that public coastal access easements be located on the historic ala loa trail. Public testimonies before the Finance Committee on December 3rd unanimously disapproved of Resolution 140-13.

ISSUES:

The Planning Department failed to identify the jeep road at Kohala Kai as the ala loa.

Kohala Kai LLC and the Planning Department apparently ignored the North Kohala Community Development Plan which calls for the ala loa and traditional trails for shoreline access.

Kohala Kai LLC’s public parking, supposedly “in close proximity to the mauka-makai trail,” is provided 100yds away from the trail and requires a 160ft walk along the highway.

Kohala Kai LLC constructed a shoreline trail away from the ala loa prior to a Public Access Plan and Planning Department review and approval, in violation of the SMA. Location of the trail lacked any public review.

The Planning Department allowed Kohala Kai LLC a private golf cart path over the known ala loa as well as a recreational center and canoe “hale” for exclusive residential uses, even though they are not included in Kohala Kai LLC’s permit applications. The proposed hale site is a known significant archeological site.

Trail maintenance responsibility was shifted from Kohala Kai LLC and its successors to the County and the size from “a minimum 6-foot wide walking area with a graded earthen surface” to “a cleared or constructed earthen surface.

No easements preserve reasonable access to cultural, historic and burial sites.

ACTIONS REQUIRED BEFORE EASEMENT CAN BE APPROVED:

Survey of ala loa trail/jeep road alignment and registration with Historic Sites Preservation Division and incorporated into the Ala Kahakai  National Historic trail

Revision of Public Access Plan and subdivision plat maps for all three subdivisions to show the ala loa as the public access.

Revision of Public Access Plan to meet recommendations of the SMA permits and to include native tenant rights and traditional and customary practices, including ocean access at the canoe landing.

Withdraw approvals for golf cart path and private clubhouse.

Per original agreement, Kohala Kai LLC be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the vertical and lateral public access areas.

Planning Dept. and County Council to work with the CDPs.

CONTACT YOUR COUNCIL:   counciltestimony@co.hawaii.hi.us

District 1: Valerie Poindexter  (808) 961-8018vpoindexter@co.hawaii.hi.us District 6: Brenda Ford (808) 323-4277bford@co.hawaii.hi.us
District 2: J Yoshimoto (808) 961-8272jyoshimoto@co.hawaii.hi.us District 7: Dru Mamo Kanuha (808) 323-4267dkanuha@co.hawaii.hi.us
District 3: Dennis Onishi (808) 961-8396donishi@co.hawaii.hi.us District 8: Karen Eoff (808) 323-4280 keoff@co.hawaii.hi.us
District 4: Greggor Ilagan (808) 965-2712gilagan@co.hawaii.hi.us District 9: Margaret Wille (808) 887-2069 mwille@co.hawaii.hi.us
District 5: Zendo Kern (808) 961-8263zkern@co.hawaii.hi.us

Jason Scott Lee Featured in Effort to Save the Palila, a Highly Endangered Hawaiian Bird

Jason Scott Lee, star of 25 motion pictures and raised in Hawai‘i, has lent his voice to a new public service announcement aimed at helping to save the highly endangered Palila (Loxioides bailleui). This bird is found only in a small patch of mamane forest on Mauna Kea volcano on Hawai‘i Island.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/UkWdixe-8oU]

The Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resource’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and American Bird Conservancy (ABC) have initiated a new outreach campaign that features the PSA which began airing statewide this week, and which will also be available soon for viewing at: RestoreMaunaKea.org. Lee is the voice of the Palila in this brief overview describing the causes for the bird’s declining population and management efforts to help save it.

“Not many people are familiar with what a Palila is and why they are worth saving. That’s because they live in remote and rugged terrain that few people ever visit,” said Robert Stephens, Coordinator for DOFAW’s Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project.

The Palila is a gorgeous, unique Hawaiian treasure, but unfortunately not enough people are aware of its precarious situation. We believe educating people about the importance of this species and the threats we are managing today, will build local and national support for the actions necessary to preserve this bird for future generations. --  Chris Farmer, American Bird Conservancy’s Science Coordinator for Hawai‘i.  Photo by R. Kohley.

The Palila is a gorgeous, unique Hawaiian treasure, but unfortunately not enough people are aware of its precarious situation. We believe educating people about the importance of this species and the threats we are managing today, will build local and national support for the actions necessary to preserve this bird for future generations. — Chris Farmer, American Bird Conservancy’s Science Coordinator for Hawai‘i. Photo by R. Kohley.

“What makes Palila special is that they are a classic example of the spectacular evolutionary process that occurred in the remoteness of the Hawaiian Islands. They survived in the dry forests for thousands of years by adapting to a food source, mamane pods, that is toxic to other wildlife. Palila belong here and are one of the things that makes Hawai‘i one of the most amazing places on the planet.”

In January 2014, a 9 x 12-foot mural featuring Palila and mamane will be completed for display on a prominent building in downtown Hilo, the county seat and largest city on the island.

The Palila has been loved by Hawaiians since ancient times and, along with other native species, they formed the environment that influenced the formation of a unique culture. Queen Emma visited Mauna Kea in the early 1880s, and a series of mele (chants) commemorate the event, including one describing the memorable song of Palila (from Nogelmeier 2001, He Lei no Emalani: Chants for Queen Emma Kaleleonalani).

“E aha ana lâ ‘Emalani – “What is Emmalani doing there?
I ka wai kapu a Lilinoe  – At the sacred water of Lilinoe?
E nanea, e walea a‘e ana – She is relaxing and she is enjoying
I ka hone mai a ka palila – The soothing song of the palila,
Oia manu noho Kuahiwi” – Those birds that dwell upon the Mountain.”

The population of the Palila, a Hawaiian honeycreeper, has declined 66 percent in the past decade, with fewer than 2,200 birds currently left. The Palila’s downward population slide is a result of habitat degradation, predation, and severe drought conditions that are causing reductions in food supply.

With critical support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is replacing the fence that encircles the majority of Palila critical habitat on Mauna Kea to prevent sheep and goats on adjacent lands from entering protected areas, while also removing the non-native ungulates from within the fence that destroy the native forests. Photo by Robert Stephens, Coordinator for DOFAW’s Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project

With critical support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is replacing the fence that encircles the majority of Palila critical habitat on Mauna Kea to prevent sheep and goats on adjacent lands from entering protected areas, while also removing the non-native ungulates from within the fence that destroy the native forests. Photo by Robert Stephens, Coordinator for DOFAW’s Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project

The native mamane and naio forests upon which the Palila depends have been degraded by non-native feral sheep, goats, cattle, and hybrid mouflon sheep over the past 200 years. The Palila once lived across most of the Island of Hawai‘i, but its range has shrunk to roughly 5 percent of its historical size. Other threats include long-term drought influenced by climate change, non-native, feral cats and mongooses that prey on adults and nestlings, fire, and invasive non-native plants. In a series of court orders beginning in 1979, the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawai‘i ruled that to prevent the bird’s extinction, the Department of Land and Natural Resources must permanently remove non-native ungulates (grazing mammals) from the Palila’s designated Critical Habitat on Mauna Kea through all necessary means, including fencing and aerial hunts.

“The Department of Land and Natural Resources is committed to protecting and conserving Hawai‘i’s unique natural, cultural and historic resources which are held in public trust for current and future generations of the people of Hawai‘i nei. We hope our children’s children will be able to know the soothing song of the Palila,” said William Aila, DLNR Chairperson.

DOFAW, with critical support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is replacing the fence that encircles the majority of Palila critical habitat on Mauna Kea to prevent sheep and goats on adjacent lands from entering protected areas, while also removing the non-native ungulates from within the fence that destroy the native forests. In addition, DOFAW, the Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project, ABC, and hundreds of local volunteers are restoring and replanting Mauna Kea’s mamane forest, which Palila depend upon for about 90% of their diet.

“The Palila is a gorgeous, unique Hawaiian treasure, but unfortunately not enough people are aware of its precarious situation,” said Chris Farmer, American Bird Conservancy’s Science Coordinator for Hawai‘i. “We believe educating people about the importance of this species and the threats we are managing today, will build local and national support for the actions necessary to preserve this bird for future generations.”

40 Students Get Food Poisoning at Oahu Elementary School

The Hawaii State Departments of Education (DOE) and Health (DOH) are conducting an investigation to determine what caused several Waipahu Elementary students to become ill today shortly after lunch.

DOE Release

About 40 students were identified as being sick with symptoms that may indicate food poisoning starting at about 1:15 p.m. Affected students were treated on campus by Emergency Medical Services personnel and transported to area hospitals for further evaluation.

The DOE will be providing temperature logs and a sample lunch to DOH officials for analysis. Officials will also investigate outside factors such as any food students and staff may have brought to the campus, or whether anyone came to school sick. Nearly 1,150 students attend Waipahu Elementary.

Meals served at Hawaii’s public schools adhere to strict state and federal food safety guidelines.

“The safety and wellbeing of our students are paramount,” said School Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Our food services branch is collaborating with state health officials to pinpoint the source of today’s outbreak. We thank parents for their patience and we wish all students a speedy recovery.”

Parents who observe their child showing symptoms of being sick are asked to contact his or her doctor and notify the school.