• Follow on Facebook

  • puako-general-store
  • air-tour-kauai
  • what-to-do-media
  • RSS W2DM

  • Cheneviere Couture
  • PKF Document Shredding
  • Arnotts Mauna Kea Tours
  • World Botanical Garden
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village
  • Hilton Luau
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • Say When

    October 2016
    S M T W T F S
    « Sep    
  • When

  • RSS Pulpconnection

Governor Releases $1.5 Million for Kahilu Theatre Improvements

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of $1.5 million in capital improvement grant funds for the Kahilu Theatre Foundation (KTF) on Hawaii Island.

The Kahilu Theatre photo by Jane Sibbett

The Kahilu Theatre photo by Jane Sibbett

Identified by the state Legislature, these funds will finance design and construction costs for improvements at the 33-year-old Kahilu Theatre in Waimea.

“The Kahilu Theatre has not had significant upgrades or repairs since it was built in 1981,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “This grant will fully fund much-needed improvements at the facility, reducing its operating costs in the future and strengthening the financial sustainability of this artistic and educational venue for many Big Island communities.”

This project will repair or replace the 20,000-square-foot building’s roof, stage and auditorium curtains and scrim, auditorium seats, steps leading to the stage, and stairways and hand railings leading to the front entrance. In addition, the electrical system, sound system and Kohala-side restrooms will be upgraded at the 490-seat theatre. A new emergency generator will also be installed. Local contractors will be used for these projects and the majority of construction is planned for this summer. Jess Turnbull of Construction Dynamics has been hired as Project Manager, and that Rhoady Lee Architecture and Design has been engaged as lead architect.

Kahilu Theatre Foundation Staff, left to right: Tim Bostock, Managing and Artistic Director, Dayva Keolanui, Director of Marketing and Development, Molly Hui, Box Office Manager, Mimi Kerley, Board President, Alva Kamalani, Operations Director, Paul Buckley, Technical Director.  (Photo by Jane Sibbett)

Kahilu Theatre Foundation Staff, left to right: Tim Bostock, Managing and Artistic Director, Dayva Keolanui, Director of Marketing and Development, Molly Hui, Box Office Manager, Mimi Kerley, Board President, Alva Kamalani, Operations Director, Paul Buckley, Technical Director. (Photo by Jane Sibbett)

Incorporated in 1980 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, KTF is responsible for the management and operations of Kahilu Theatre. The mission of KTF is making a place where community, creativity and inspiration thrive. The facility presents a wide array of performances and events, including music, dance, drama, film and visual arts. The theatre will present a full 2014-2015 season, launching this July, which includes free public events. Various arts education programs for youth at KTF impact over 8,000 students each year.

“These improvements would not be possible without the committed support of our community, who wrote over 200 letters to the legislature, and the determination of Senator Malama Solomon. Kahilu belongs to the people of Waimea; with this grant we can look after the Theatre for present and future generations. We look forward to presenting an exciting 2014-2015 season under a roof with no leaks!” said Tim Bostock, Managing and Artistic Director, Kahilu Theatre Foundation

KTF has a 20-year lease for land and building from Parker Ranch. Kahilu Theatre was founded by Parker Ranch air Richard Smart, but is not funded by the Ranch.  Dutch Kuyper, President and CEO of Parker Ranch, Inc. commented “We are grateful for the grant from the State of Hawaii.  We very much look forward to many residents and neighbors rediscovering the Kahilu Theatre as a cultural, educational and entertainment centerpiece of Waimea town.”


Commentary – A Giant Tree Almost Killed Me Last Night on HWY 132

I received the following commentary:

Dear Damon,

I really had a close call last night.

Tree Smash

Was driving down on my way home in Kapoho through the tree tunnel by Lava Tree state park. I heard a thunderous crack and saw for a split second a giant branch on it way down directly in front of me…not sure if I hit it first or it hit the road first but I hit it hard.

Tree Smash 2

Airbags went off and smoke filled the cabin…when I came to I was choking from the airbag smoke I got out from the car, dazed. The occupants from the car behind me asked if I was OK and said that they saw the tree come down and I was lucky to be alive…Police said I was lucky to be alive as well.

The force was enough to crack the block on the engine and spray oil and engine parts on the road.

Tree Smash 3I drive through that tree tunnel of old junk albizias every day… So do my loved ones and friends. Almost every local resident has a story of branches of all sizes down in the road and near misses.

I ask why does the county allow such a persistent and inevitable threat to exist? All one has to do is look up at the mass of giant tangled limbs and it not hard to see the gravity of the situation.

Who’s next? Will they be lucky like me? Only sore, bruised and shaken or will they be more gravely injured? 

I am a farmer by trade and don’t think I will be picking up any baskets of ginger for a while.

I will be writing letters to the County of Hawaii public works, road maintenance division as well as our council members asking the same questions above.

Tree Smash 4

In a perfect world my sincere story would be enough to get them moving to take care of this obvious problem, however If you would like to share my story on your blog it may help shine a light on this issue.

Thank you kindly,

Daniel Kelly

Puna Music Festival Takes to the Streets of Pahoa

Last night folks from all over Puna, decked out in their party attire, took to the streets of Pahoa for a music festival that went on until about 10:00 pm.

Inside the Akebono Theater

Inside the Akebono Theater

I’m trying to figure out what smell was the stronger smell in the air… Patchouli or Pakalolo?

HPD officers were on the scene to make sure no one got out of hand

HPD officers were on the scene to make sure no one got out of hand

Here are some pictures from the evening… feel free to click on them to enlarge:

Pahoa Photographer Finalist in Smithsonian Photo Contest

A photo that Pahoa Photographer Gisele Cassarotti Prescott took, is a finalist in the 11th Annual Smithsonian Photo Contest.

In creating In Wonderland #6: Red Queen Marching, Cassarotti Prescott says she wanted to bring back memories from her childhood. "Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was part of my childhood, and I believe it was part of many generations before and after me." (Pahoa, Hawai'i, May 8, 2013, Canon 5D Mark II)

Wonderland #6: Red Queen Marching (Pahoa, Hawai’i, May 8, 2013, Canon 5D Mark II) Click to Enlarge

In creating In Wonderland #6: Red Queen Marching, Cassarotti Prescott says she wanted to bring back memories from her childhood. “Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was part of my childhood, and I believe it was part of many generations before and after me.”

The Readers’ Choice voting is now closed. They will announce the Readers’ Choice, Grand Prize and six Category winners on May 15, 2014.

The Readers’ Choice voting is now closed. We will announce the Readers’ Choice, Grand Prize and six Category winners May 15, 2014.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/photocontest/photo-contest-finalists-11th-annual-180950372/#yEo8O845wBIMJgBI.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

Ocean View Man Arrested for Attempted Murder

Hawaiʻi Island police have initiated an attempted murder investigation in connection with a stabbing Saturday afternoon at a beach park in Hilo.

At 2:15 p.m. Saturday (May 10), South Hilo Patrol officers responded to a report of a stabbing at 4-Mile Beach Park in the Keaukaha area.

When officers arrived, they learned that a 41-year-old Hilo man had sustained multiple stab wounds to the back during an altercation with another man. The victim was en route to the hospital in a private vehicle when the vehicle came upon responding Fire Department rescue personnel, who transported him to Hilo Medical Hospital in critical but stable condition.

Paul Gibson via Facebook

Paul Gibson via Facebook

The suspect, 46-year-old Paul Gibson of Ocean View was located six minutes later on Laukapu Street in Hilo. He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

Police ask anyone with information on this case to contact Detective Clarence Davies at 961-2384 or cdavies@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or nserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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

H*w*ii Residen*s Being No*ified of Wheel of For*une Audi*ions – I’m Selec*ed!

I’m not sure when Wheel of Fortune started sending out notices to folks that applied to be on the upcoming Hawaii tapings of Wheel of Fortune… but today I got an email stating that I get to try and audition for the show:

Pat and Vanna will be back on the Big Island soon.

Pat and Vanna will be back on the Big Island soon.




Congratulations! You have been selected to attend a WHEEL OF FORTUNE contestant audition (by invitation only).  We have reserved the following appointment for you:


DLNR Cites Boat for Damage to Coral Caused by Anchor Chain

Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officers cited the owner of a 47-foot sailing vessel in Kailua Bay on Friday, May 2, for damage caused to coral reef by the vessel’s anchor chain. Approximately 80 feet of chain was in the water, with about 30 to 40 feet in the coral.

Coral damaged by a boat anchor. Division of Aquatic Resources photo.

Coral damaged by a boat anchor. Division of Aquatic Resources photo.

A swimmer photographed and reported the damage to the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) security officer for Kailua Pier, who immediately called the DOCARE Hawai‘i Branch to request that officers investigate the coral damage. DOCARE officers investigated and photographed the damage and cited the boat owner. The boat owner did not have a mooring permit.

Under Hawai‘i Administrative Rules Section 13-95-70, it is unlawful for any person to take, break, or damage any stony coral. The violation is a petty misdemeanor offense, subject to a criminal fine of a minimum $250 for a first offense, $500 for a second offense, and $1,000 for a third or subsequent offense. In addition, administrative fines of up to $1,000 per specimen may apply.

Under the newly amended coral rules, which took effect on May 1, each damaged coral head or colony less than one square meter in surface area is a separate specimen. For colonies greater than one square meter in surface area, each square meter and any remaining fraction thereof constitutes a separate specimen.

According to court records, the boat owner’s arraignment and plea is scheduled for May 22 at 1 p.m. in Kona District Court.

DLNR Reminds Public Of Sacred Falls Park Closure, Acknowledges 15-Year Anniversary Of Tragedy

Due to a recent rise in citations for unauthorized entry into Sacred Falls State Park, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) announces and underscores that the park remains closed to the public due to danger from falling rocks.

Sacred Falls

Signs at entrance to Sacred Falls

Mother’s Day marks the 15-year anniversary of tragedy at Sacred Falls State Park, where a massive rockslide on May 9, 1999, killed 8 and injured around 50 people. Following that incident, DLNR closed the park, locked the entrance, and posted and maintained numerous signs indicating the park’s closure and hazardous conditions.

To address public safety concerns raised by this event, the state Legislature established a statewide warning signage system, through Act 82 SLH 2003, to protect the state and county governments from liability on certain parks and trails.

“So many of us remember the loss, pain, and suffering that ensued at Sacred Falls 15 years ago,” said Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) Chairperson William J. Aila, Jr. “Yet, people continue to illegally hike in the park, ignoring DLNR’s clear signage and exposing themselves to possible injury or death, and criminal citation.”

From March to April 2014, the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) issued about 30 citations for prohibited entry into Sacred Falls State Park, many of which involved out-of-state residents or U.S. military personnel.

One incident in March 2014 necessitated search and rescue efforts by DOCARE and the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD). During the past two years, DOCARE and HFD have conducted four search and rescue operations in Sacred Falls State Park, some of which involved bodily injury.

“DOCARE takes prohibited entry violations seriously and will continue to monitor Sacred Falls State Park, issue citations, and protect public health and safety when necessary,” said DOCARE Enforcement Chief Randy Awo. “But the reality is that these illegal entries divert time and attention from natural resource protection.”

Sacred Falls Sign

Entry into Sacred Falls State Park, and any other closed state park, is a petty misdemeanor crime, punishable in court with fines of a minimum $100 for a first offense; $200 for a second offense; and $500 for a third or subsequent offense. Moreover, The Board of Land and Natural Resources may also pursue civil administrative penalties of up to $2,500 for a first violation; $5,000 for a second violation; and $10,000 for a third or subsequent violation.

“We encourage people to enjoy the many other state parks and trails that are open and accessible to the public, such as the trails managed by the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife under the Nā Ala Hele Trail Access system,” said Dan Quinn, administrator for the DLNR Division of State Parks.

For more information about the Hawai‘i State Park system, visit http://hawaiistateparks.org/ and http://hawaiitrails.org.

To report an incident, call 643-DLNR.

Shannon Smith Goes on My Shit List

I apologize to all the other Shannon Smith’s in the world.

The one I’m talking about goes on my shit list.

Teacher Allegedly Assaults Students at Big Island Charter School

Last night at Hawaii Public Charter School Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences (HAAS) a bombshell was dropped on parents, faculty and community members at their local school board meeting as allegations of physical and emotional abuse were told by parents of students attending the school.

Some members of the HAAS School board prepare for the meeting.

Some members of the HAAS School board prepare for the meeting.

Many folks submitted written testimony that was not read at this meeting however a few people read testimony that they had previously prepared while others spoke from their heart about the problems that they were having with the administration at the school and some folks felt that there was a cover up going on and they wanted answers.

Before the meeting began.

Before the meeting began

Puna resident and parent David Marquis started off the testimony and was so upset by the end of the night after hearing others testimony… he went out and protested the school today:

David Marquis shows his disgust with the school and the administration

David Marquis shows his disgust with the school and the administration

Here are a few of the testimonies that were read via verbatim:


I am Dan Biegler, parent of a 4th grader at Mana’olana. I just wanted to give you some background/demographics of the 4th grade classroom at Mana’olana. This 4th grade started with 18 students 7 of which are children of employees at HAAS. 5 students have dropped out since the incidents and 2 of those 5 being children of HAAS employees.

The reason I am coming forward is for the children and parents who may go through this in the future and for those parents and children who are or were enrolled in the 4th grade at Mana’olana. This is why I asked those questions to the board in a previous email.

  1. Would you as parents want to know if there was any kind of abuse going on in your child’s classroom?
  2. Would you as parents want to know if your child has seen any kind of abuse in their classroom?
  3. Would you as a parent want to know if your child was questioned by a school counselor regarding abuse going on in the classroom?

If your answer is yes, then why haven’t the parents of 4th grade Mana’olana been granted these rights?   We have not gotten any information regarding what is happening in the classroom other than letters brought home by students stating “There will be a long term sub till the end of the school year”.

Here is a rough timeline of the incidents at Mana’olana 4th grade:

  • First Semester – The teacher was allowing 10 year old student to do their own lunch/recess supervision. This was causing major conflict between classmates.
  • Teacher showed video of Central Africa current events to show kids how good they have it here. “Dead Africans being loaded into the truck.” Teachers response to my inquiries were “I known the students have seen worse” How dare she make judgements on what 10 year olds have or have not seen.       Isn’t that what parents decide, not teachers.
  • Teacher has children sit on hands to keep them to themselves or to not work ahead. If students took their hands out from underneath them the teacher would say “Keep your hands under you, or I will cut them off” This was repeated many times.
  • The incidents listed below were reported on Wed. January 29th after school. Teacher duct taped another students mouth because he was “whining, I don’t get it” Teacher flicked students ears and hit students in the back of the head.
  • Thursday Jan. 30th – Teacher was allowed to go back into the classroom and work an entire day.
  • Friday Jan. 31 – Teacher on admin. Leave.
  • Three letters go home to parents stating that there will be a long term sub. No other information shared or given to parents.
  • April 9 215. Parent meeting announcement sent home with children. Parent meeting held. 6 parents were present out of 18. No new information was given. I am guessing the purpose of the meeting was to show how good the long term sub was going to be. Administration and counselor sit in the back of the room letting the sub speak almost the entire time. Principal standing in the open door repeating “I’m sorry I have to leave, I have a very important meeting to attend” Three times the sub tried to answer questions for the admin. Admin and counselor get into a dispute. I felt shame and embarrassment for being associated with HAAS. In the meeting, principal states that the long term sub and him had just been introduced to each other the week before at the school wide meeting on April 2nd.
  • At this April 2nd meeting long term sub asks me, “Who should he talk to in regards to curriculum”?   I was shocked to find out that the long term sub had just met the principal April 2nd and he didn’t know who to talk to in regards of 4th grade curriculum two months after the removal of the teacher.
  • May 2nd – HAAS Ho’olaue’a. I see the fired Mana’olana teacher, sitting with HAAS Administrators and teachers enjoying the school function, making contact with her former students. What message does this send the kids, adults, teachers and community?
  • May 5th – A teacher asks me “Why is the fired 4th grade teacher contacting me about curriculum and questionnaires? The teacher asks “If she is back working with HAAS, why doesn’t she take the middle school opening next year?”

So here I am asking about my child’s former teacher and why no information has still not been given to the 4th grade parents. I have stayed impartial and silent for too long. Now I come here for answers. How is it that a teacher gets fired and begins working with the long term sub that is replacing her, the administration that got rid of her, and coworkers that she is no longer coworkers with? Again, what message does this send to the children, parents, faculty and community? It’s ok to bully, threaten, abuse children as long they are hanai daughter to someone at school. As long as parents are kept in the dark on what goes on in the classroom.

This abusive teacher got a 3 month paid vacation, traveled to California, surfed at Pohoiki, while HAAS teachers, parents, children and the greater community has been splintered shamed, kept in the dark. If your not going to take care of your own, who will you take care of? 7 students of employees at HAAS in the 4th grade Mana’olana, 5 are left and they have all been greatly negatively affected by this teacher. They lost their fiends, their school, their trust in speaking out when wrong is being done. I am speaking for all of those families, fiends, colleagues, that are still battling the effects of this one teacher, the administration and now the board. I am also speaking for the silent majority now and in the future who will not speak out, will not be the whistleblower. I ask the board and the administration to protect ours and your children.


Dan Biegler

The next person to testify was Debra Isabel:

My name is Debra Isabel.

I am here to provide factual information as I have witnessed in a situation involving myself and my child that occurred here at Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science where I am uncomfortable saying that I am currently employed.  I have remained silent and entrusted HAAS to conduct a fair investigation while I paid close attention to the details as it unfolded.  It has been 98 days.  I refuse to remain silent any longer.

People want to know details about what has happened in the 4th grade class at Mana’olana.  I am at liberty to share our experience and YOU, the Governing Board and HAAS Administration have an obligation to share YOUR knowledge of the details of what took place with US.  We are concerned parents, community members, tax paying citizens, and we deserve an explanation and have a right to hear the facts so that we may make an INFORMED decision if we want HAAS to be the school of choice for OUR children!

January 29, 2014 is a day my family shall never forget.  It is the day that my 9 year old son, a 4th grade student of HAAS, along with his classmate found the courage to speak out about the torturous behavior they were being subjected to by their teacher since the start of the school year.  Imagine having your child report to you that he was hit from the back by his teacher with a forceful open hand slap to the back of his head in the area that he wears his hearing aids; unprovoked, and completely unprepared.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, imagine hearing that the teacher of this class used duct tape over my child’s mouth as a means to shut him up because he needed help and used a whiny voice to say “I don’t get it”.  It was also the day we realized that the recent changes we were witnessing in my child was a direct result of what he was experiencing at school.  What once was my outgoing, independent, carefree child, was slowly turning in to my worried, needy, scared, angry child.  Having had extremely nurturing and caring teachers in the past, he knew early on that this new teacher was nothing like the others.  In my son’s words, she was “mean” and a “bully.”

This teacher, when concerns were brought to her attention by parents, responded harshly stating that we needed to trust her judgments and actions as a teacher because her possession of a Masters Degree in Education from UCLA somehow made her think that was her ticket to do as she pleased; to inflict physical harm and mentally humiliate and emotionally abuse the students that were assigned to her.

It’s amazing that someone so educated believed that she was invincible.  Does she not recognize that a person with a UCLA degree faces the same legal punishment as a homeless person living on the streets? This teacher was also the mentor and responsible for a Student Teacher studying to become a teacher as well an Aide assigned to that classroom.  Imagine the role modeling that was taking place with this teacher as their guide.  To this teacher, these may have been just students; mere puppets in training. To me, this was my child, the son that we waited 7 years for, the person that completed our family, the youngest grandchild of my parents, our prized possession.  How dare she do that to MY child!

I reported this incident to the School Director immediately after finding out about it on January 29, 2014.  As an educator myself, I recall having attended a workshop being presented by Child Welfare Services here at HAAS where we were trained as mandated reporters to treat incidents of violence seriously.   Having reported to administration that my child and at least one other student was physically and mentally abused by their teacher, I expected this act of violence to be treated seriously.  Instead of a call being placed to the Police, a call was placed to the Ohana Director to handle the situation.

I knew then and there that my report was not being handled properly or taken seriously.  I asked for the assistance of the Campus Safety & Security person who happens to be my relative, a person I know is professionally trained to handle situations like this.  It was at that time that protocol began to take place. My child, with my permission was interviewed providing firsthand information of what he experienced.  Following my child’s interview, I asked my son to hit me exactly like he had recently been hit.  He refused at first saying that he was afraid he would hurt me or get in to trouble.  When I insisted that he proceed, he apologized and hit me with such great force that my head jerked.

Not only was I stunned, I was also in a bit of pain.  This teacher, didn’t pat my son on the head, she hit him with the intent of hurting him! At that moment, I knew administration wasn’t going to do it, so I chose to file a police report and press criminal charges on this teacher myself. The school failed to follow protocol.  They failed to protect my child!  My child complained of headaches and pain in the area that he was hit.  He was seen by his pediatrician the next morning and continues to have recurring headaches.  My son expressed that he was afraid to return to school because the teacher was still there along with the student teacher and the aide assigned to the class.

The following day, with knowledge of these allegations, the school allowed the teacher to return to the classroom.  The school failed to protect the rest of the children in that class! According to administration, that same day the school also told the Safety & Security person that he could no longer perform his job.  They claimed it was a conflict because he was related to my child.  Good and fine.  Instead, they assigned the school counselor, a personal friend of the teacher, to continue the investigation.  Was that not a conflict as well? A person with no education and experience to perform such a task.

I know this for a fact because his first order of business was to call my home attempting to contact my husband.  When my husband was able to speak to him, he told my husband that his purpose for calling was to get his “side of the story”, as if our stories differed.

A week had passed since reporting and there was no communication from the school.  My husband and I requested a meeting with Admin. to get an update on the investigation.  We were told that the teacher had been placed on leave with pay while they continued to investigate.  This meant that she was not allowed on property during this time.  However, the following day my husband happened to drive through the school parking lot and witnessed this teacher in plain view of everyone on campus talking in a carefree manner with the school counselor.

We had been deceived.  According to administration, the school counselor conducted a thorough investigation in to the facts of my child’s allegations by personally interviewing the students at Mana‘olana.  Interesting enough, the school counselor never bothered to interview my son to complete his so-called “thorough“ investigation.

Through the police investigation, information was revealed to me that validated my decision to proceed with criminal charges.  This teacher openly admitted to the School Director and other school personnel that she hit and flicked students and that she threw things at them.  She also admitted to duct taping my son and claimed that it happened so long ago that she almost forgot about it but she recalled that it was so funny. This person, who may have been deserving of the title “teacher” for the past 2 ½ years, had now earned herself the title of “self-reported perpetrator”.

As laymen, we would expect, an allegation of physical abuse accompanied by the admission of the perpetrator would constitute immediate punitive action; so why, at the time of her admission was the Police not contacted?  Was that not sufficient evidence to act upon?  Are the School Director, Ohana Director, and School Counselor exempt from mandated reporting? I know for a fact if it was a parent in this situation, police involvement would take place without hesitation.

Instead, the school’s administration underhandedly dished off that responsibility to the Governing Board, a body of people with partial, one-sided information, and opinions and theories of their own. Is this how personnel disciplinary matters are systematically handled in Charter Schools?  If so, I’d like to see a written policy where that is stated.  If not, what has the Governing Board and HAAS Administration done in the 98 days that has passed to ensure that a policy for employee infractions are clearly written and in place should this repeat itself?

I was informed a month later, by a parent of 2 children in the same class that she too had filed a report with the school counselor about similar incidents involving her children and the perpetrator just a day after my child reported being hit.  Nearly ¼ of the children in the class along with their parents had brought this to the school’s attention.  Instead of investigating the reports by 4 different students individually, they strategically combined the reports.  What did the school do?

When asked, they claim to be restricted to provide us limited information.  At one point, stating that they were in “negotiations” with the perpetrator and her union and was close to a “settlement.”  What if the tables were turned, and MY child physically abused his teacher or a classmate?  There is a clearly defined discipline policy in place called Chapter 19 whereby student consequences for various infractions are mutually understood, clearly written, lawfully supported, and most importantly, non-negotiable. So, the statements of the administration, the actions of the perpetrator and other HAAS employees closely tied to the perpetrator,  has led me to the conclusion that the self-reported perpetrator has been allowed to walk away from an incriminating situation with the consequence of paid administrative leave, the ability to “negotiate” a “settlement offer”, and the possibility to continue to repeat these horrific acts elsewhere.  What power and influence does the perpetrator have over the Governing Board and the school administration?  That is the million dollar question!

In the current school year 2013-2014 brochure explaining HAAS Ohana Programs for Grades K-8 (hold up copy) the following statement appears “Our mission at HAAS is to provide every student an education where learning needs are met by implementing flexible and effective teaching strategies which target the full range of learning styles.”  Unless you consider physical and emotion abuse a “flexible and effective teaching strategy”, I say this statement is FALSE!  Perhaps that is why at an April 2nd Faculty Meeting, before the end of the current school year, the mission of HAAS suddenly changed and any mention of teaching strategies or learning styles conveniently disappeared.

Who was in the leadership position to facilitate that happening at this particular Faculty Meeting?  The hanai relative and mentor(as she refers to herself ) of the self-reported perpetrator!  How’s that for a conflict of interest?! Immediately after the school’s newly adopted vision was created, the change was made to the school’s website.  If the perpetrator has been terminated or removed from her position as a teacher, then why hasn’t THAT change also been made to the school’s website? WHY is the perpetrator being allowed to contact other Staff members about curriculum?  WHY was the perpetrator allowed to attend the Ho’olaule’a where confirmed victims were present, and in the company of HAAS administration and her hanai relative just 6 days ago with absolutely NO reservation about being there full well knowing that a Temporary Restraining Order and a supposed “agreement“ with the school was in place and she was not supposed to be there?

Is it because the school and the Governing Board influenced by people with a conflict of interest continue to keep this perpetrator on the school’s payroll?  Isn‘t that information that we should have access to?

In April, at a Parent Meeting where myself and another reporting parent was mysteriously omitted an invitation to attend, the School Director stated that the “threat” would not be returning to the classroom and that we should “imua”, move forward.  How is that possible when shortly after that when asked what type of counseling service was provided to students involved, the School Counselor stated that he was told by Administration not to discuss the matter with the students?

Because of the school personnel’s inability to conduct a thorough, impartial investigation, their inability to enforce an agreement made with the perpetrator to refrain from being in the presence of victims and on the campus of HAAS sites, this has created a hostile work environment for me as an employee of HAAS.  I do not understand that the stated vision of the Board of Education is : “Hawaii’s Public Schools are institutions of learning that parents want their children to attend and students want to attend.  All schools, regardless of size, are safe, nurturing learning communities where members work together and all students achieve high academic standards and become contributing members of society” yet the Governing Board along with HAAS Administration has chosen to turn the other cheek with knowledge of an admission by an employee to committing illegal acts of violence that placed children in an unsafe, militant environment where the type of learning taking place was a lesson in “do as I say, or get hit, flicked, taped or things thrown at you”.

This is WRONG!  As responsible adults we teach our children to report any instances of illegal or inappropriate behavior they have witnessed or experienced.  Numerous children did exactly that.  What did the school with the Board of Education and the Governing Board as their advisors do to live up to their vision statement?  They sided with the perpetrator and left our children with no choice but to lose trust in the people that are paid to nurture and educate them!
Why, as a community are we not as vocal and passionate about equal accountability for Charter Schools as we are about equal funding for Charter Schools?

Evidently, there is an attempt to cover up what has happened and it’s apparent that the perpetrator is being afforded special privileges by the school and the Governing Board.  So, one last question, what special privileges has the school and the Governing Board afforded the 4th grade students at Mana‘olana?

Debra K. Isabel

The next testimony that I was able to obtain was given by former long term Pahoa Teacher Winnie Enriquez:

My name is Winnie Enriquez

I am a retired elementary school teacher with 35 years of experience, 24 of those years were  at Pahoa Elementary School.  I enjoyed teaching and looked forward going to school all of those years because I realized the importance of my responsibility to those students who were in my classroom.  Each of them were somebody’s child, and therefore, I treated each of them as my own, regardless of their academic level.

The students were my number 1 priority, and it was my responsibility to meet the needs of each individual, make school a happy and pleasant place for learning, become someone they could trust, and provide a safe environment.  Isn’t this what is expected of each teacher?

I am here this evening to speak on behalf of my grandson who was physically and verbally abused by his teacher on several occasions, ONE,in whom we entrusted to enhance his learning ONE, who was trusted to treat each student equally, and ONE to provide a safe learning environment for the students.

Instead, he was humiliated in front of his classmates and other adults present in the classroom that did not take action on behalf of this child, my grandson.  Why was nothing done with these individuals?  Why were they still allowed to continue working in the classroom as if nothing happened?  These acts committed by the teacher has contributed to my grandson’s negative perspective of school to the point where he HATES school.  He HATES SCHOOL!!!!!!! No student should ever HATE school because of a teacher’s willingness to place a student in an unsafe and dangerous environment. As a grandmother, I have seen how my grandson’s demeanor towards school has changed. His level of self-confidence has decreased, he is  afraid to return to school, and he has lost trust in educators that were supposed to care and educate him.

I had put my trust in the administration and the school board of the school to take proper action and act accordingly on  behalf of students who were abused under the care of this teacher,but little has been done.

As an experienced educator with the Department of Education, I am assuming that this teacher was terminated and that her inappropriate behavior has been added to her personnel file. If this not the case, I STRONGLY request  that this teacher be terminated IMMEDIATELY and that this is reported so she is NOT allowed to continue to abuse children and have them suffer emotionally and psychologically for who knows how long. I am witnessing the effects it is causing on my grandson, somebody’s child.

EVERY student should be treated equally in the classroom and be provided with the opportunity to learn in a safe environment. These rules were broken and my trust in this school and the school board has been lost.

HAAS stands for Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences.  However, to me, HAAS now stands for Hawaii Academy Abuses Students!!!!!!!

Winnie Enriquez

Other parents spoke up about their kids being abused at the school as well. I wasn’t able to record the meeting because the board stated that no photography or videotaping the meeting was allowed.

I hope a thorough investigation is done by the Hawaii Department of Education and I hope that at some point I will be free to be able to release the teachers name that is allegedly involved in this.

For now… she is off the job without pay.

Serial Predator Catholic Cleric Allegedly Now Lives in Hawaii

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 8627688,SNAPdorris@gmail.com)

A Christian brother, who is accused of molesting dozens of children across the country, is allegedly living in Hawaii. We hope church officials will act responsibly and warn unsuspecting families about this dangerous man.


Edward Courtney

Edward Courtney

Edward Courtney joined the Christian Brothers of Ireland in 1957 and according to church records immediately started to prey on young boys. That was in New York. Since then he has been a teacher and coach at roughly 10 different schools – Catholic and public – across the US, including IL, MI, WA, and NV.

Transferring predator clergy is one of the most callous and dangerous actions church officials can take. Because of these heartless and irresponsible officials dozens of children were molested. 50 victims of Br. Courtney have come forward; we suspect there are many more suffering in silence and self blame. We urge church officials in Hawaii to warn their flock about Br. Courtney.

We hope anyone who is suffering in silence will speak up and get help. We hope anyone who saw or suspects anything will report to law enforcement. And we hope church officials, in all the places Courtney worked, will publicly disclose his whereabouts, work history and photo.

Big Island Police to Make “Active Shooter” Presentations

The Hawaiʻi Police Department will make an “active shooter” presentation during an evening community meeting in Kona later this month.
HPDBadgeThe meeting will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on May 22 at the pavilion at the Old Kona Airport State Recreational Area.

The first portion of the meeting will allow the public to meet the Police Department’s command staff and to discuss police related concerns with the police chief and commanders who oversee police operations in West Hawaiʻi. This meeting, similar to district community meetings that have been rotated throughout the island’s eight police districts during the day, will allow attendance by citizens who cannot get away during the daytime.

The second portion of the meeting will be an awareness presentation to help individuals increase their survivability should they encounter an active shooter or other type of active violent situation. The presentation will provide information on previous incidents of mass violence, recent events, best practices for those caught in such a situation, understanding law enforcement’s response, and how to work together as a community to prevent these critical events from happening. It will also provide additional resources for participants so they may continue their education on this topic, followed by a question-and answer segment.

A similar meeting will be held at a future date in East Hawaiʻi.

Big Island Press Club Protests… Council Chair Apologizes

On April 7, 2014, Journalist Nancy Cook Lauer, President of the Big Island Press Club (BIPC), sent an email to the Chairman of the Hawaii County Council J. Yoshimoto formally protesting the treatment of three BIPC members and their equipment.

Council Members, County Clerk Stewart Maeda, and Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida also received copies of this email.

After the email was sent, Chair Yoshimoto apologized to Cook Lauer on behalf of all the parties involved in the incident.

Here is a copy of that email:

Dear Chairman Yoshimoto:

On behalf of the Big Island Press Club, we are writing to formally protest the treatment of three BIPC members and their equipment on April 1.

I understand from witnesses and partially from my own personal observation that Clerks Office staff removed thousands of dollars worth of laptops, bags, cameras and other equipment belonging to members of the media from the media area of council chambers and deposited them in the hallway.

This happened after the council had called an executive session and the media had cleared the chambers. The media had gone to the meeting room across the hall and were within calling distance of staff, had they wished to call us back to retrieve our belongings.

Instead, the gear was left in the hallway, risking the loss of equipment by theft in addition to damage by those not familiar with handling others’ equipment. A working journalist’s gear is worth more than its monetary value. It also holds irreplaceable photos, video, notes and articles.

If the rules have changed about whether equipment must be removed during executive session, it would be a professional practice to notify the media ahead of time. As it happened, journalists who have been covering the council for years were treated with disrespect and a lack of trust that they felt undeserved.


Nancy Cook Lauer

President, Big Island Press Club

23 Nations to Participate in RIMPAC Exercises Around Hawaiian Islands

Twenty-three nations, 47 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise scheduled June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

All Aboard!

All Aboard!

The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

When the NAVY flew me out to the USS Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan during a previous RIMPAC Exercise

When the NAVY flew me out to the USS Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan during a previous RIMPAC Exercise

Hosted by U.S. Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2014 will be led by U.S. Vice Adm. Kenneth Floyd, commander of the U.S. Third Fleet (C3F), who will serve as the Combined Task Force (CTF) Commander. Royal Australian Navy Rear Adm. Simon Cullen will serve as deputy commander of the CTF, and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Rear Adm. Yasuki Nakahata as the vice commander. Other key leaders of the multinational force will include Rear Adm. Gilles Couturier of the Royal Canadian Navy, who will command the maritime component, Air Commodore Chris Westwood of the Royal Australian Air Force, who will command the air component, and the land component will be led by Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Richard Simcock. RIMPAC 2014 will also include for the first time a special operations component, to be led by U.S. Navy Capt. William Stevens.

Two nations, Brunei and the People’s Republic of China, will participate in RIMPAC for the first time in 2014.

When the Navy took me out to the USNS Mercy

When the Navy took me out to the USNS Mercy

Also for the first time at RIMPAC this year, two hospital ships, USNS Mercy and PLA (N) Peace Ark, will participate in the exercise.

The theme of RIMPAC 2014 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners.” The participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces. These capabilities range from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting. The relevant, realistic training syllabus includes amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises as well as counter-piracy, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal and diving and salvage operations.

Picture courtesy of Jasmine Guevara

Social Media folks invited to participate in previous RIMPAC Exercises.  Picture courtesy of Jasmine Guevara

This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Department of Health Cites Hawaii County for Solid Waste Permit Violations

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has filed two Notices and Findings of Violation and Order against the County of Hawaii for solid waste permit violations occurring at the South Hilo and West Hawaii sanitary landfills.

Hawaii Department of Health

During compliance inspections conducted on May 23 and 24, 2013, at the South Hilo Sanitary Landfill located off Leilani Road in Hilo, DOH found that the county failed to cover disposed solid waste with daily or intermediate cover for approximately 28 days. These violations occurred between Jan. 1 and May 31, 2013, and over many areas of the landfill including closed and active disposal areas.

In addition, the county failed to monitor groundwater quality for at least one sampling event, failed to monitor for explosive gas along the perimeter of the landfill for two consecutive quarters between September 2012 and June 2013, and failed to ban and remove whole tires from the active disposal area. DOH has ordered the County of Hawaii to correct the violations and pay an administrative penalty of $328,190. The county has requested a hearing to contest the allegations and order.

During a March 5, 2014, inspection of the West Hawaii Landfill located at 71-1111 Queen Kaahumanu Hwy. in Puuanahulu, North Kona, DOH discovered unpermitted storage of approximately 800-1,000 tons of scrap metal and appliances. DOH has imposed a penalty of $21,900, and ordered the county to cease accepting and accumulating scrap metal and white goods and remove and dispose of all accumulated scrap metal and white goods. The County of Hawaii may request a hearing to contest these allegations or the order.

The DOH Solid Waste Section regulates standards governing the design, construction, installation, operation and maintenance of solid waste disposal, recycling, reclamation and transfer systems. Such standards are intended to prevent pollution of the drinking water supply or waters of the state, prevent air pollution, prevent the spread of disease and the creation of nuisances, protect the public health and safety, conserve natural resources, and preserve and enhance the beauty and quality of the environment.

Learn How to Care for Kapa Saturday

The Daughters of Hawai‘i, caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace, is partnering with the University of Hawai‘i Library’s Preservation Department on a FEMA-funded project to stabilize kapa that was damaged during the March, 2011 tsunami. The kapa was in the palace’s basement when the tsunami hit the Kona Coast and inundated properties along Ali’i Drive.

'Ohe kapala/NPS Jay Robinson

‘Ohe kapala/NPS Jay Robinson

Project consultants are kapa maker Moana Eisele and paper conservator Mary Wood Lee, along with UH Preservation Department staff. The team will show slides of the kapa and the efforts to care for them during a presentation 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, May 10 at the West Hawai‘i Civic Center.

Titled “After the 2011 Tsunami: Caring for 19th Century Historic Kapa from Hulihe‘e Palace,” the activity is free and open to the public. For info, phone 329-9555.

Missing Man Found Disoriented in Lava Field

Hawaiʻi Island police have located 33-year-old Arthur Medina of Kailua-Kona, who was reported missing.

HPDBadgeHe was found disoriented at 8 a.m. Thursday (May 8) in a lava field off the side of Highway 190 in Puʻuanahulu about 1/8 of a mile south of Puʻu Waʻawaʻa Ranch, not far from where his car had been found on Tuesday (May 6).

Police determined that Medina got into a single-car accident on Tuesday morning. He apparently attempted to walk for help and became disoriented.

He was taken to North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Wordless Wednesday – Pahoa Burger King Drive In

The Pahoa Burger King had another Drive-In today!

Posted to Facebook tonight:

Drive Thru

Photo by Tasha Nakatsu

So went to work today everything was normal and then all he’ll broke lose!!!!!
My co worker goes and clocks out for lunch and then walks out to order his meal when a car goes through the building. The car hits him n he goes flying.
It was the most scariest thing I have ever experienced in the work place.


Big Island Police Searching for Man Missing After Car Found With Damages

Kona Police are requesting the public’s assistance in locating 33-year-old Arthur Medina who was reported missing on May 6, 2014 (Tuesday).

Arthur Medina

Arthur Medina

Medina was said to have left his residence in Kailua-Kona, dropped off his children in the morning and proceeded to work in Waimea. According to his employer, Medina never showed up for work on May 6, 2014.

Medina’s vehicle was found to be in an accident near the Puʻuanahulu area with damages, but Medina was not within the vehicle.

An initial search of this location was conducted by police and was met with negative results.

Medina is described as a local male, heavy build, with a tan complexion. He is 5’5” , weighs 200 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes. He has a large tattoo on his upper chest of wings and a spider in the middle and a large tattoo on his mid upper back area.

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

Dr. Roy Lozano Announces His Candidacy for Hawaii County District 4

I’ve stated before that I’ll be voting for Maddie Greene for Hawaii County District 4.   The district race certainly is becoming interesting.

Dr. Roy Lozano

Dr. Roy Lozano

Dr. Roy Lozano has announced his candidacy for Hawaii County District 4 in this YouTube video that was published yesterday:


Underneath the video he states:

Go to Roy Lozano’s website (lozano4puna.com) for a more complete understanding o Roy’s position on the key issues: conscious development, infrastructure, youth mentoring, energy & power for life, solid waste management, organic-natural farming, and entrepreneurship. Roy wants to “talk story” with you.