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How to Brine a Perfect Turkey

Many folks have asked me what my secret recipe is to “brine” a perfect turkey.

How to Brine a perfect turkey

How to Brine a perfect turkey

The first step in having a perfectly brined turkey is to make sure the turkey is completely thawed out before you start the brine on.

I recommend taking the turkey out on the Monday morning before Thanksgiving to thaw depending on how big your turkey is.  After the turkey has thawed… I line a cooler with a garbage sack and then fill it full of water (enough water so that the turkey is completely submerged).

I then add my spices (see recipe below) and allow the bird to brine for 24 hours.  After the turkey has brined for 24 hours, I stick the turkey into the oven in a large pot that will catch all the drippings.

Bake at 350 degrees for the amount of hours recommended by the weight of the bird.  Most turkeys have a meat thermometer that will pop out when the turkey is done. I have found that a turkey brined will not be as attractive visually on the thanksgiving table and it’s best to just carve it up.

Damon Tucker’s “Perfect Turkey Brine” Recipe (Ingredients based on an 18 lb turkey)

  • De-thaw turkey
  • Line cooler with garbage bag and fill with water half way
  • Insert thawed turkey and add more water so that the turkey is completely covered
  • Add salt (I typically use 1/8th cup Hawaiian Salt)  I myself like to add 8oz of liquid smoke and a bit of Hawaiian Huli Huli Sauce into the mixture
  • Let soak for 24 hours prior to putting turkey in the oven
  • Cook according to weight and always make sure for the meat thermometer to pop out of the turkey before removing from oven
  • Let stand for 1 hour before carving

Eight To Be Recognized as 2013 Stars of Oceania

The University of Hawai‘i Pacific Business Center Program’s planning committee announced that eight women of and from Oceania will be honored at the third “Stars of Oceania” recognition dinner December 3, 2013 at the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Oceana DinnerThe keynote speaker for event is Deputy Director Esther Kia’aina of the Hawaii State Government Department of Land and Natural Resources. Ms. Kia’aina is also a presidential appointee currently in the confirmation process in Washington D.C. as Assistant Secretary of Insular Affairs to the U.S. Department of the Interior.  Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawaii president and CEO, will be the master of ceremonies for the evening. Reverend Dr. Fran Palama will chant the oli to commence the evening and the UH ROTC will present and retire the colors for the event.

“Primarily we wanted to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Pacific Islanders and residents not born and raised as such, but whose heart and service is testimony to their love for the islands they call home.  Their impacts are felt in and from Hawai‘i as well as other parts of the Pacific, the nation and the world. Each represents multiple dimensions of leadership to overcome challenges with Aloha, courage, faith and perseverance in their fields of endeavor,” stated UH Pacific Business Center Program Director, Dr. Tusi Avegalio, the primary organizer of the event.  These women inspire us to look forward to the flowering of a vision where everyone is a Star of Oceania and committed part of the vast constellation of hope, faith, courage and Aloha that will restore alignment, balance and harmony to a world so lacking in it.

The “Stars of Oceania” was inaugurated in 2006 with the intent to continue every three to four years. This year’s recognition dinner is not an award or reward ceremony for distinguished service, but to recognize and acknowledge these outstanding women for doing the right thing.  All have been rewarded and awarded on many occasions and deservedly so. The “Stars of Oceania” recognizes that the attributes of service and sacrifice to raise the common good is much like Aloha, not an attribute of a particular culture, ethnicity nor geographical boundary. The event honors one’s sense of humanity.


2013 Honorees

1.  Dr. Sela Panapasa                      Rotuma, Fiji

Health Leadership. Conducting research, analysis and reporting from the University of Michigan that is impacting the Pacific region and the U.S. regarding elderly care and policy development for health and nutrition for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

2. Dr. Diane Ragone                        Virginia

Humanitarian Leadership. Director of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens Breadfruit Institute. Her work on breadfruit to feed the hungry of the world has impacted disaster stricken areas in the Caribbean and Africa where mass planting of trees from Hawai‘i have fed hundreds of thousands over the decade.

3. Dr. Tin Myaing Thein       Myanmar

Compassionate Leadership. Executive Director of the Pacific Gateway Center where she leads programs that help refugees, the destitute and victims of human trafficking where many of the victims are young girls and women. Although her work often places her in at risk situations, she continues to help locals as well as immigrants from the Pacific and Asia with social and economic adjustment needs.

4. Beadie Kanahele Dawson         Hawaii

Community Leadership. Community activist, attorney, business woman and entrepreneur who stood bold and resolute in the protection of a legacy of promise by Ke Alii Pauahi Bishop for Native Hawaiians, her knowledge, wisdom and Aloha secured the legacy for her people for generations to come. She leaves behind a legacy of courage, cultural stewardship and economic development initiatives that seek balance between traditional wisdom and modern knowledge.

5. Vaimasenu’u Zita Martel           Samoa

Courage Leadership. Mother, diplomat, traditional leader and fautasi long boat skipper, successful business woman and entrepreneur. Overcame tremendous challenges and shattered the gender barrier by entering a traditional, men’s only long boat race as the first women ever to do so, and winning the 50th anniversary celebration fautasi race of her country. Her acceptance of victory with traditional respect, humility and salutations to the chiefs and spiritual leaders of her country endeared her as a standard of excellence for the youth of her developing island nation.

6.  Susan O’Connor               Montana

Spiritual leadership. Social and global activist for world peace and harmony. Facilitated national and international gatherings in Hawai‘i, established programs to support the social, economic and spiritual needs for native Hawaiians in Hana and built a retreat area as a portal for peace and harmony with Aloha and Hawaiian values at the core to all who seek a peaceful place for reflection, balance and harmony in life.

7. Dr. Takiora Ingram                       Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Regional leadership. Regional environmental leader, Coordinator of the Pacific Regional Ocean Partnership, promoting health and stewardship of the Pacific Ocean’s resources,  and former Executive Director of the All Islands Coral Reef Committee Secretariat based in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.  Provides effective leadership and coordination of the U.S. Pacific Islands and the Federal government to sustainably manage ocean resources and promote stewardship of the Pacific Ocean.

8.  Angela Williams             Virginia

Empowering Leadership. Retired U.S. Department of the Interior senior policy analyst who established the Pacific Business Center Program and a high impact internship program that has made significant contributions to local capacity building, and economic and small business development throughout the U.S. Territories, particularly Micronesia.  Graduates are serving in leadership positions throughout the U.S. Territories in the Pacific as vital building blocks for developing U.S. island Territories in the region.

General tickets for the event are $75.00. Students are $50.00. Sponsored tables: Kalo tables of 10 are $750.00; Niu tables of 10 are $1,500.00; and Ulu tables of 10 are $2,500.00.  Sponsored tables and seats that are donated will be extended to women of Hawai‘i who could not attend otherwise or as designated.  Checks should be made out to the University of Hawaii Foundation and reference “Stars of Oceania” and mailed with the registration form to Stars of Oceania, c/o UH Pacific Business Center Program, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Shidler College of Business, 2404 Maile Way, A413, Honolulu, HI 96822

For more information about the 2013 Stars of Oceania Dinner visit http://pbcphawaii.com or contact the Pacific Business Center Program at the University of Hawaii at (808) 956-6286 for Dr. Tusi Avegalio (fa@hawaii.edu), Renata Matcheva (matcheva@hawaii.edu) or Michelle Clark (mlc@hawaii.edu).

“The Planning Committee composed of Cha Thompson, Leslie Wilcox, Crissy Gayagas, Wendy Loh, Jensin Sommer, Ramsay Taum and Renata Matcheva have been hard at work,” said Avegalio. “As I reflect on the Year of the Women 2013 Stars of Oceania and efforts towards making it happen, I’m reminded of a quote by Margaret Mead, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’”


Expanded Character Limits Established for Hawaii Driver’s License & State ID Cards

The state Department of Transportation working in cooperation with the county Departments of Motor Vehicles announces expanded character limits for Hawaii Driver’s Licenses and State Identification Cards.  The change went into effect earlier this month to conform with new national standards.

Hawaii Drivers License Sample

Driver’s Licenses and State ID cards will now provide space for names up to a total of 120 characters with the breakdown as follows: 40 last name, 40 first name, 35 middle name, 5 suffix (ex. Jr. or Sr.).

The State of Hawaii’s enhanced requirements for Driver’s Licenses and State Identification Cards have been deemed as fully compliant with the Real ID Act of 2005, following a review and certification by the Department of Homeland Security.

New identification requirements to prove “Legal Presence,” confirming that a person is either a U.S. citizen or is legally authorized to be in the United States, for state-issued Driver’s Licenses took effect in Hawaii on March 5, 2012, and for State Identification Cards on January 2, 2013, to conform with the Real ID Act.

For more information on requirements for Driver’s Licenses, please visit http://hidot.hawaii.gov/hawaiis-legal-presence-law/.  For more information on requirements for State Identification Cards, please visit http://hidot.hawaii.gov/hawaiistateid/.


Low-Income Populations Fare Best in Hawaii – Performance of State Health System is Among the Nation’s Best

Hawaii ranks best in the nation according to The Commonwealth Fund Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations, 2013, a national scorecard that analyzed 30 indicators within four dimensions.  Hawaii ranks in the top quartile for three of four system dimensions – Access to Affordability, Potentially Avoidable Hospital Use, and Healthy Lives.  Hawaii ranks in the second quartile for the fourth indicator, Prevention and Treatment.  There are currently 292,000 individuals enrolled in Hawaii Med-QUEST programs, which are administered through the Department of Human Services (DHS).

Click to see how other states rank

Click to see how other states rank

“This 2013 Commonwealth Fund scorecard demonstrates that Hawaii is on the right track to improving access to affordable health care, and the state Med-QUEST Division is leading the way,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who has made healthcare transformation a top priority of his administration. “Our healthcare system supports the optimum health of all state residents by providing a seamless, integrated and comprehensive healthcare system. This approach consistently demonstrates high-quality care, and a commitment to cost-effectiveness.  It also enhances the patient experience and engages patients in their own healthcare decisions.”

For low-income populations whose standard of living is 200 percent of the federal poverty level, Hawaii reported the second lowest percentage of uninsured adults, the second lowest percentage of uninsured children, and the lowest percentage of adults who went without health care in the past year due to cost.  Hawaii also is ranked first for the lowest rate of potentially avoidable hospital use and second for the lowest rate of potentially avoidable emergency department visits for low-income Medicare beneficiaries, and first for the lowest rate of poor health related quality of life for low-income adults 18-64 years old.

“It’s the prevention component that makes the difference,” said DHS Director, Patricia McManaman.  “When vulnerable individuals have access to affordable and reliable medical services, they are more likely to visit their doctor on a regular basis.  The Commonwealth Fund scorecard reflects the commitment of our healthcare providers to our community.”

While Hawaii is ranked the top state, there is room for improvement.  Hawaii ranked below average on four indicators – older adult preventive care, surgical care to prevent complications, hospital 30-day mortality, and hospital discharge instructions for home recovery.  Because the report is generally based on 2010 and 2011 data, these areas may have since improved.  No states ranked in the top quartile or even top half of the range for all 30 indicators.

To improve the overall health and economic well-being of low-income populations, states must invest in the health of their most vulnerable populations. Healthier adults are less expensive for taxpayers, and have greater workforce productivity.  Healthier children are more likely to succeed in school and participate in the future workforce. A healthy population is thus instrumental in maintaining strong local and state economies, as well as the nation’s economic health and well-being.

To read the complete 2013 Commonwealth Fund Scorecard visit http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/Fund-Reports/2013/Sep/Low-Income-Scorecard.aspx

False Report Investigation Initiated Against UH Student Who Reported Alleged Sexual Assault

Police have concluded their investigation of a reported sexual assault that reportedly occurred on Tuesday, November 19th, in a bathroom at a State Facility in Hilo.

The assault was alleged to have happened on the UH Hilo Campus

The assault was alleged to have happened on the UH Hilo Campus

The investigation revealed that the incident did not occur, and the case has been closed as being unfounded. A False Report investigation has been initiated.

In related news:

A town hall meeting will take place tonight at 7:00 pm at Hale `Alahonua Cafe, UH Hilo campus:

UH Hilo administrators will be on hand to debrief the events of the last several days, and also to hear feedback from students about their concerns related to campus safety. Actions for how we will move forward as a campus community will also be explored. Open to all current UH Hilo & HawCC students. Representatives of the media are kindly requested to respect students’ rights to have a “safe space” to share their thoughts/feelings/experiences.

According to UH Hilo Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Luoluo Hong,  the meeting will not be open to press officials in their capacity as press officials:

…I want to reiterate that it is intended for students. Representatives of the media need to be attending as private citizens/extended members of the UH Hilo community and not in their capacity as press officials.

18-Year-Old Hilo Man Charged with Crimes After Being Caught On Tape

Detectives have charged an 18-year-old Hilo man for an incident that occurred in Downtown Hilo earlier this month.

Makalii Kahumoku-Jose

Makalii Kahumoku-Jose

On Thursday (November 21) at 11:15 am, after conferring with prosecutors, Makalii Kahumoku-Jose was charged for first degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and second degree theft. Kahumoku-Jose’s bail was set at $4,000.00 and he was scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Friday (November 22).

On November 13, 2013, at about 11:00 pm, a 41-year-old Kurtistown woman discovered that her vehicle, which was parked fronting a business on Keawe Street was entered and her duffle bag was removed.

Responding officers were able to identify the suspect as Makalii Kahumoku-Jose after viewing security video footage

Miki Wakai Joins Hawaii Tourism Authority as Tourism Brand Manager

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s tourism agency, has hired Miki Wakai as a tourism brand manager.

Miki Wakai

Miki Wakai

Wakai will be overseeing Hawai‘i’s largest international market, Japan. She will work collaboratively with the HTA’s contractor, Hawai‘i Tourism Japan (HTJ), to ensure that marketing efforts are in line with the HTA’s strategic plan and drive demand and revenue for the state of Hawai‘i.

“Miki will be a tremendous asset in working with the Japan market and we are pleased to have her join our team,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA. “Her experience will be valuable as we look at innovative ways to grow this mature market and reach two million Japanese visitors by 2016.”

Prior to joining the HTA, Wakai worked at the Hilton Grand Vacation Club overseeing the marketing and sales office in Hawai‘i while reestablishing its presence in Seoul, Korea. She was also responsible for identifying and marketing to potential customers visiting from Japan, Korea and the U.S. mainland for time share opportunities. Wakai received a Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies from Hawai‘i Pacific University.

Established in 1998, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the state’s tourism agency, is responsible for strategically managing tourism to optimize benefits for Hawai‘i that integrates the interest of visitors, the community and visitor industry. Tourism is our state’s leading economic driver and largest employer and the HTA continually works to ensure its sustainability well into the future. For more information on the HTA, please visit www.hawaiitourismauthority.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (@HawaiiHTA).

Congresswomen Tulsi Gabbard to Receive John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award Tomorrow

Congresswomen Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), one of the first two female combat veterans to serve in the U.S. Congress and an emerging leader on veterans’ issues, and Charles Best, Founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org, a pioneering online charity that connects individual donors with public school teachers to meet classroom teaching needs, have been named this year’s recipients of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Awards. The awards will be presented by Jack Schlossberg, John F. Kennedy’s grandson and a member of the New Frontier Award Committee, at 6:00 p.m. on November 25, 2013 during a ceremony at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

My son w/ Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard at the State Capital

My son w/ Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard at the State Capital

“We have been told over and over that America is no longer the great country that it was when my grandfather was president,” said Jack Schlossberg. “But Charles Best and Tulsi Gabbard exemplify the spirit of public service that is the heart of President Kennedy’s legacy. From heads of state to community volunteers, from NASA to the Peace Corps, President Kennedy inspired people all over the world to put their time and talent to work on the great challenges of the era. Tulsi Gabbard and Charles Best are carrying that torch into a new era as direct descendants of my grandfather’s New Frontier. They are pioneers and problem-solvers who are stepping up to meet the challenges of our time with creativity, purpose and resolve,” Schlossberg said.

The John F. Kennedy New Frontier Awards were created by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the Institute of Politics to honor Americans under the age of 40 who are changing their communities and the country with their commitment to public service. The awards are presented annually to two exceptional individuals whose contributions in elective office, community service, or advocacy demonstrate the impact and the value of public service in the spirit of John F. Kennedy.

One of the New Frontier Awards honors an elected official whose work demonstrates the importance of elective service as a way to address a public challenge or challenges.  This award, called the Fenn Award, is presented to a young elected official in honor of Dan Fenn, the Kennedy Library’s first director and a former member of President Kennedy’s staff.  The other New Frontier Award honors an individual whose contributions in the realm of community service, advocacy or grassroots activism have had a positive impact on a broad public policy issue or challenge.

For more information visit the Kennedy Presidential Library’s website at www.jfklibrary.org or the Institute of Politics’ website at www.iop.harvard.edu.

Tulsi Gabbard
U.S. Representative (D-Hawaii)
Fenn Award Recipient

Tulsi Gabbard is one of the first two female combat veterans to serve as a member of the U.S. Congress. An advocate for environmental policy, Gabbard first ran for the Hawaii state legislature in 2002, where at 21 she became the youngest person ever to serve in that body. In 2003, she joined the Hawaii National Guard, and a year later, she voluntarily deployed to Iraq, eventually serving two tours of combat duty in the Middle East. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and she continues to serve as a Captain in the Hawaii National Guard’s 29th Brigade Combat Team. Between her two tours of duty, Gabbard worked in the U.S. Senate as a legislative aide to Senator Daniel Akaka, where she advised on energy independence, homeland security, the environment, and veterans’ affairs. In 2010, she was elected to the Honolulu City Council, where she served as Chair of the Safety, Economic Development, and Government Affairs committee and Vice Chair of the Budget committee. In 2012, Gabbard was elected to the U.S. Congress, where she has emerged as a leader on veterans’ issues and a voice for a younger generation of solutions-oriented political leaders. The first piece of legislation she introduced in the House, the Helping Heroes Fly Act, which streamlines airport security screenings for injured and disabled veterans, was enacted with bipartisan support.

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Skydiving Incident in Hawaii Leaves Man Seriously Injured at Pacific Skydiving

A skydiving incident in Hawaii has left a skydiver seriously injured at Pacific Skydiving located at the Dillingham Airfield over on the North Shore of Oahu.

Ambulance arrives at Pacific Skydiving to take away the injured skydiver

Ambulance arrives at Pacific Skydiving to take away the injured skydiver

To make matters worst, their instructor toppled onto him according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser:

A 34-year-old male skydiver suffered serious injury Friday afternoon after a hard landing at Dillingham Airfield.

Department of Emergency Services spokeswoman Shayne Enright said the injury was to his pelvic area and the instructor toppled onto him.

The accident occurred at 12:57 p.m. Friday…

In a video released yesterday, you can see that skydivers at Pacific Skydive have been known to push the limits when it comes to jumping:


Under CFR 14 Part 91.155 conducting VFR parachute operations thru overcast skies is illegal and dangerous. Feel free to contact me for more evidence regarding FAR violations from this company, I have hours worth of footage.

14 CFR Part 105 is based on the assumption that any individual who chooses to skydive has assessed the dangers involved and assumes personal responsibility for his or her safety. The regulations in Part 105 are intended to assure the safety of those not involved in the sport, including persons and property on the surface and other users of the airspace. The skydiving community is encouraged to adopt good operating practices and programs to avoid further regulation by the FAA.

Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning Special Guest at Dedication of Royal Australian Air Force F-111C at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Today

U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning, Hawaii Senator Mark Takai, RAAF Air Marshal Geoffrey Brown, USAF General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, and Australian Consul-General Scott Dewar were just a few of the military officers, pilots, and dignitaries who attended Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s formal acceptance ceremony today, November 23, 2013, for the General Dynamics F-111C jet gifted to the Museum from the Royal Australian Air Force.

F11 Dedidcation

The 4:00 p.m. ceremony took place in Hangar 79 at the Museum on Historic Ford Island. A reception followed from 5:30 to 7:00pm. Over 200 people attended the private event. Kahu Kordell Kekoa of Kamehameha Schools officiated at the blessing.

Kahu Kordell Kekoa

The pilot name on the fuselage of the aircraft was unveiled as Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoffrey Brown, who was in attendance.

F111 Fuelselage

The exterior is an exact livery of the paint scheme and markings as delivered from General Dynamics to the Royal Australian Air Force in 1973. The F-111C joins the Museum’s growing collection of 45+ historic aircraft.

“We’re proud and honored to receive such a gift from the Royal Australian Air Force,” said Museum Executive Director Kenneth DeHoff. “We will display it for the world to see and enjoy.”

F111 exterior

The F-111C (Australian serial number A8-130) was Australia’s principal strike aircraft from 1973 through 2010 and was affectionately known there as the Pig due to its ability to “hunt” at night with the nose of the aircraft close to the ground. With the United States Air Force it saw combat in Vietnam and participated in the bombing raids of Operation Desert Storm. The outright gift of the F-111 to the Museum is a reminder of the F-111’s shared service between Australia and the United States.

f11 presentationThe F-111C Gift Presentation and Dedication Ceremony was sponsored by Boeing and Pacific Air Forces Civilian Advisory Council (AFCAC).

Second Annual Wayne “Big Dog” Joseph 5K Walk/Run

Big Island Roadrunners will be holding it’s Second Annual Wayne “Big Dog” Joseph 5K Walk/Run on Thursday, November 28 starting at 7:30 am.

Big Dog 5k

The event is open to all and there is no time limit. The run was named after long time Big Island Roadrunner Club President and Hilo Marathon Director. Wayne passed away earlier this year after a long battle with cancer.

Wayne Joseph in his better days.

Wayne Joseph in his better days.

The event starts and ends at the Coconut Island parking lot in Hilo. It starts at 7:30 am with registration just prior to the start. The event is free, however participants are encouraged to bring canned goods for the Food Basket and/or to make a monetary donation to the Wayne “Big Dog” Joseph Scholarship fund. For more information please call Steve Pavao at 430-0267.

The “Maka Project” on the Big Island

Full of aloha and adventure, the Island of Hawaii is an epic place to call home – especially for the Maka crew.


Most of the footage in this montage was shot in the last three weeks, and all was shot entirely on the Big Island of Hawaii with the GoPro 3+ Black, 3 Black and Hero2 cameras on the Big Island. Huge thanks to everyone that was involved!

Maka Projectwww.themakaproject.com

Student Attack at UH Hilo Restroom Was Fabricated

I’m hearing news now that the alleged attack that happened at the UH Hilo restroom the other day was a fabricated story.

UH Hilo Moniker
More to come later… but this comes from my initial source I got the report from in the first place:

“Damon I just got some disturbing news regarding the attack. I’m waiting on a phone call! Not sure if it was due to pressure or not but her mom told me it was false! OMG WTF! Ugh I have a migraine now!”…

…She came back to Hilo and met with detectives. Then called her mom and is on her way back home right now. Her parents said they don’t know what’s going on and are talking to the detective. I’m not sure what to believe either. Not sure if the media pressure is making her fold or what. So her mom will call me later and let me know but I think she cannot handle the attention…

…Her mom said her friends were pressuring her, I don’t know what that means. Ugh”

Hilo Man Charged for Burglaries and a Theft at Hilo High School

Detectives have charged a 21 year-old Hilo man for several offenses stemming from separate burglaries and a theft that occurred at a Hilo school.

Today (November 22, 2013) at 1:15 p.m., after conferring with prosecutors, Kalei Kaina Kaaumoana was charged with two counts of first degree burglary and three counts of second degree theft. Kaaumoana’s bail was set at $80,000.00 and he was scheduled to make his initial court appearance next week Monday.

Kalei Kaina Kaaumoana

Kalei Kaina Kaaumoana

The incidents stem from:

An October 23, 2013 burglary in which a 91 year-old Hilo woman discovered that her residence was entered and several items were stolen.

An October 30, 2013 burglary in which a 36 year-old man reported to police that his residence was entered and several items were also stolen.

A theft of a Kamaka ukulele, reported by a Hilo school on October 21, 2013.

Police were able to recover evidence at these crime scenes, which were instrumental in the identification of the suspect in this case.


Update From the Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory

Kahaualeʻa 2 flow and Puʻu ʻŌʻō:

The tip of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow was 7.3 km (4.5 miles) from Puʻu ʻŌʻō when mapped on November 21.

Active breakouts were scattered all across the flow up to about 4 km back from the front.

Active breakouts were scattered all across the flow up to about 4 km back from the front. Click to Enlarge

Puʻu ʻŌʻō looms in the background in this photo taken from about 4 km (2.5 miles) away.

The source of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow—a spatter cone at the northeast edge of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater floor—forms the knuckle-like bump just above the center of the photo.

The source of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow—a spatter cone at the northeast edge of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater floor—forms the knuckle-like bump just above the center of the photo. Click to Enlarge

The Kahaualeʻa 2 lava tube is marked by the fuming areas that extend to the right down the flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Spatter cones on Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater floor:

Lava erupted a few times from two different spatter cones on Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater floor over the past few weeks.

These show up as the lighter-colored flows on the near (southeast) flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Click to Enlarge

These show up as the lighter-colored flows on the near (southeast) flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Click to Enlarge

The larger spatter cone to the right, with the obvious fume trace leading away from it to the right (marking the lava tube), is the source of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow.

Incandescent skylights adorn the spatter cone and the lava tube in this close shot of the source for the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow.

The lighter-colored flows in the foreground are recent flows which broke out from the near side of the spatter cone. Click to Enlarge

The lighter-colored flows in the foreground are recent flows which broke out from the near side of the spatter cone. Click to Enlarge

Webcams and other monitoring equipment dot the north rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the background.

Hawaii’s College-and Career-Readiness Efforts Recognized

Hawaii’s efforts to prepare students for college and careers earned high marks from Achieve, a national non-partisan education reform organization. Hawaii is one of 46 states and D.C. to adopt Common Core State Standards (CCSS), rigorous education standards aligned with college- and career-readiness (CCR), or the knowledge and skills necessary for success after high school.

“The report confirms that we have set a higher bar for students, teachers, as well as ourselves as educational leaders,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Our efforts continue daily to enable high school graduates to seamlessly enter postsecondary education prepared to succeed.”

Click to view the report

Click to view the report

Achieve’s 8th annual “Closing the Expectations Gap” report released earlier this week praised Hawaii in several categories that detail progress in elevating student achievement and success. Among the findings, Hawaii is:

  • One of 10 states that “…has adopted college and career readiness standards and assessments capable of producing a score that colleges value and either require all students to take courses that deliver the CCSS/CCR standards to graduate or default all students into a CCR course of study in 9th grade and permit modifications as needed.”
  • Among states taking steps to ensure that teacher preparation programs and licensure requirements are CCSS/CCR aligned. The report specifically cites: “In Hawaii, teacher preparation programs must incorporate the CCSS into their programs when preparing teacher candidates and are required to submit evidence to the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board about how their candidates use the standards in working with P-12 students. The Hawaii Teacher Performance Standards support the CCSS.”
  • One of only seven states that have mandatory diplomas requiring students to take the content through the level of the CCSS/CCR standards by 2016.
  • One of 11 states to require the ACT test for all high school students. In a landmark move last school year, the DOE began offering the ACT to all students free of charge. In the ACT’s last administration over the spring, Roosevelt High senior Gillian Desmond was the only student statewide with a perfect score of 30, a feat accomplished by only 781 students out of the 1.66 million who took the test.

The report comes during American Education Week, which recognizes the efforts of educators who work tirelessly to advance public education across the nation.

To see the report, go to www.achieve.org/ClosingtheExpectationsGap2013.

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. Hawaii’s public school system was established in 1840 by King Kamehameha III. To learn more, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

Two Big Island Police Officers Awarded “Police Cross”

Officers Joshua Gouveia and Garrett Hatada were both awarded the Police Cross this morning by Police Chief Harry S. Kubojiri.

(from left to right) Police Chief Harry S. Kubojiri, Officer Joshua Gouveia, Officer Garrett Hatada, Deputy Police Chief Paul Ferreira

(from left to right) Police Chief Harry S. Kubojiri, Officer Joshua Gouveia, Officer Garrett Hatada, Deputy Police Chief Paul Ferreira

The award was presented as a result of both officers having sustained gunshot wounds in connection with an incident that occurred earlier this year. During the presentation, Police Chief Harry S. Kubojiri remarked how one of Officer Gouveia’s first thoughts after getting shot was his concern for the safety of other officers at the scene. Chief Kubojiri also related how Officer Hatada fired at the assailant in protection of others at the scene and did not mention his own gunshot wounds until several minutes later.

On Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 7:44 p.m., police responded to a report of several gunshots heard in the area of Kilauea Avenue near the Wailoa River in Hilo. At approximately 8:52 p.m., while checking parked vehicles in the area of the 800 block of Kilauea Avenue, officers observed a man hiding under a parked vehicle. Upon approaching him, Officers Gouveia and Hatada were fired upon and sustained gunshot injuries. One of the officers was able to return fire. The suspect, 31-year-old Keaka D. Martin of Hilo, fled the area on foot and was captured the next day.

Martin was charged on January 4, 2013 with two counts of first-degree attempted murder, second-degree reckless endangering, place to keep a firearm, possessing a loaded firearm on a highway, two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, ownership/possession of a firearm prohibited, and altering the identification markings on a firearm.

Governor Abercrombie Appoints Jeffrey Portnoy to UH Board of Regents

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the appointment of Jeffrey Portnoy to the University of Hawaii Board of Regents. He assumes one of the board’s Honolulu seats, an interim position until confirmed by the state Senate.

Jeffrey Portnoy

Jeffrey Portnoy

“Jeff is a champion of the University of Hawaii and a respected leader in our community,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “He has always been a great friend to the university community, and his leadership, insight and expertise within and beyond his field will prove a valuable asset to the UH system.”

A member of State Bar of Hawaii since 1972, Portnoy has worked with Cades Schutte LLP since 1972; as a partner since 1979. A speaker, teacher and author, his practice specialties include media, insurance, employment and product liability law; personal injury defense; attorney and physician malpractice; and securities litigation and arbitration.

His prior involvement with the University of Hawaii includes serving as community representative on the UH Athletic Advisory Board for two 3-year terms (1996 to 2002) and as a UH adjunct professor in media law from 1985 to 1992.

Portnoy was president of the Hawaii State Bar Association in 2007 and director from 1989 to 1993. He was a member of the Ninth Circuit Advisory Board from 2005 to 2008, chairman of the U.S. District Court Advisory Committee from 1992 to 1996, State Chairman of the Defense Research Institute from 1989 to 1998, and president of the Hawaii Defense Lawyers Association from 1989 to 1995. In addition, he served as Lawyers Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference for two 3-year terms, is a past member of the Media Defense Resource Council, and is former editor-in-chief of The Hawaii Labor Letter.

Portnoy is an active member of the community outside the legal profession and is currently the president of Manoa Valley Theatre. He served as president of the Hawaii International Film Festival from 1994 to 2005, chairperson of the Honolulu Neighborhood Commission from 1984 to 1988, and chair of the Honolulu Community Media Council from 2001 to 2002.

His awards and honors include the Society of Professional Journalists’ First Amendment Award (1995) and the SPJ Hawaii Chapter’s Freedom of the Press Award (1983). He was also selected by his peers for Best Lawyers in American and listed in Chambers USA America’s Leading Business Lawyers and Hawaii Super Lawyers.

Portnoy earned his bachelor’s degree in political science, with a minor in journalist, from Syracuse University (Cum Laude) and juris doctor degree from Duke University School of Law.

He is a resident of Honolulu.


Volunteers Enrich Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Volunteers work for free, but their time is certainly not without value. At Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, 1,193 volunteers worked 46,757 hours in fiscal year 2013 – which equals about $1,035,200 in donations.

The 2013 Volunteers of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park were honored at a luncheon this week.  NPS Photo by Jay Robinson

The 2013 Volunteers of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park were honored at a luncheon this week. NPS Photo by Jay Robinson

At a luncheon honoring park volunteers Thursday, Superintendent Cindy Orlando praised the group, whose varied duties include working in museum collections and archives, monitoring the backcountry, visitor service, native forest restoration, trail maintenance, endangered species projects and much more.
“Volunteers not only enrich the visitor experience, but also the lives of our employees,” said Orlando. “They help us with every imaginable task and we are indebted to their service.”

Citizens interested in volunteering at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park may visit www.volunteer.gov/gov, or contact Kūpono McDaniel at (808) 985-6015 or email him at kupono_mcdaniel@nps.gov.

Youth Basketball Teams Invited to 33rd Annual Winter Basketball Classic

Youth basketball teams from throughout Hawai‘i are invited to compete in the 33rd Annual Winter Basketball Classic to be held December 26 through December 29 at Hilo-area gymnasiums.


Each participating team must submit a completed registration packet by Friday, December 6, to the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Recreation Office located at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo. Registration packets are available at the office and online at www.hawaiicounty.gov/parks-and-recreation/.

Registration fees are $60 per team for those enrolling in the mixed-gender division for players up to 8 years old, $80 per team for the other age-group divisions, and $25 for each visiting off-island team. Please make checks payable to: Winter Basketball Classic.

Co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Police Department’s Hawai‘i Police Activities League, or HI-PAL, and the Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation, the basketball tournament is open to boys and girls 5 to 14 years old.

The Kevin Kai‘ea Pavel Skills Challenge and dinner banquet will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, December 27, at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo. Championship games will be played Sunday, December 29, at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.

For additional information, please call Officer Joseph Botelho Jr. in East Hawai‘i at 961-8121, Officer Randy Morris in West Hawai‘i at 326-4646, ext. 258, or Darrell Yamamoto of the Department of Parks and Recreation at 961-8735.