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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.

Governor Abercrombie Releases $618,000 for New Volcano School of Arts & Sciences Campus

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of $618,000 in capital improvement grant funds for the Friends of the Volcano School of Arts & Sciences on Hawaii Island.

Volcano School Of Arts and Sciences

Volcano School Of Arts and Sciences

Identified by the state Legislature, these funds will finance the planning and design needed to construct a new campus for the Volcano School of Arts & Sciences (VSAS) in Volcano Village. The campus will be built on a 3.5-acre site at the historic Keakealani School, which VSAS is currently leasing from the state Department of Education for its grade 5-8 classes.

“When this project is complete, the Volcano community will finally have a permanent education facility at a consolidated public charter school,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “In the meantime, this grant will generate immediate employment opportunities on the Big Island.”

This project will allow VSAS to consolidate its grade K-4 classes (currently located on Old Volcano Road) with its grade 5-8 classes so the school’s students will be together on one campus. The nonprofit Friends of the Volcano School of Arts & Sciences is expected to fund the construction phase of the project privately through donations, foundation grants, loans and possible federal assistance.

West Hawaii Community Forum to Feature West Hawaii Legislators

The May 13th Community Forum at the main pavilion at Old Kona Airport will feature West Hawaii Legislators who will provide an update on the recently adjourned legislative session. If you want to learn more about State activities and projects affecting West Hawaii, come to the free Community Enterprises’ May 13 Community Forum. Representatives Richard Creagan and Nicole Lowen and State Senator Malama Solomon will also be available for questions.

Dr. K. Marty Fletcher, the West Hawaii Director for the University of Hawaii programs will provide an update of current educational opportunities and potential future programs at the upcoming Palamanui Campus. Dr. Fletcher will also be available to answer questions from those attending.

Christianne Abella

Christianne Abella

Community Enterprises will make a special presentation to Christianna Abella, an 8th grader at Konawaena Middle School and Hawaii State Spelling Bee champion.

The May 13 West Hawaii Community Forum will be held from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Maka`eo Old Airport Pavilion. Pupus and beverages will be served.

Community Enterprises Inc. is a private non-profit organization with a 501c (3) designation from the IRS. Its mission is to bring educational resources to the residents of West Hawaii so they can better participate in the public policy issues that affect their lives and their communities. Visit us at our website www.konatownmeeting.org.

For more information please contact John Buckstead at 326-9779 or email at jbuckstead@hawaii.rr.com.

UH Hilo and County of Hawaiʻi Offer Sustainable Farming Forum

The College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and the County of Hawaiʻi will host a free public forum on “Building Momentum Toward a Resilient and Sustainable Local Farming Culture” on Thursday, May 22, 9-4:30 p.m., in UH Hilo’s UCB Room 100. The forum aims to share collective knowledge and brainstorm ideas about the future of Hawaiʻi Island agriculture, beginning with how to improve soil health.

UH Hilo Moniker

Dr. Hector Valenzuela of the UH Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) and Dr. Norman Arancon of CAFNRM will be the lead presenters with discussion facilitation by Interim CAFNRM Dean Bruce Mathews and County Councilwoman Margaret Wille, chair of the County Council’s Committee on Agriculture, Water, Energy, and Sustainability.

Morning presentations and panel discussions focus on eco-friendly agro-ecological models, integrated crop-livestock systems and feed options, improving soil health, and increasing economical options for high quality compost. The afternoon sessions includes a discussion on red fire ant control strategies and facilitated breakout sessions to follow up on the morning topics.

For further information, call CAFNRM at 932-7036.

Officer of the Month for May Recognized

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee recognized Officer Jerome Duarte as “Officer of the Month” for May in a luncheon ceremony Wednesday (May 7) at Huggo’s restaurant in Kailua-Kona.

Officer Jerome Duarte

Officer Jerome Duarte

Duarte was honored for stopping an assault in progress while off duty.

At 6:30 a.m. on March 15, Officer Duarte, who was wearing civilian clothing, was headed to the Kona police station prior to the start of his shift. En route, he saw a man with an aluminum bat chasing a naked man in the middle of Kuakini Highway where it intersects with Nalani Street. The suspect swung the bat at the victim several times while the victim tried to get away.

Officer Duarte stopped his car, grabbed his duty firearm, announced that he was a police officer and confronted the suspect. He directed him to drop the bat and to get on the ground and stay in that position. After the suspect complied, Duarte called for an ambulance for the victim, who had several large red marks on his back and legs.

The suspect was arrested and charged with felony assault.

Sergeant David Araki, who nominated Duarte for the award, noted that the officer’s actions represent one of the reasons people become officers—to make a positive difference in our community.

“I believe that, thanks to the quick and decisive actions of Officer Duarte, he prevented further injury to the victim and anyone else at the scene that might have been caught in the middle of this incident,” Araki wrote in nomination papers. “Officer Jerome Duarte’s unquestioned professionalism and dedication to duty led to the immediate protection of the victim and the apprehension of the suspect in this investigation, thus making our community a safer place to work and live.”

As “Officer of the Month,” Duarte is eligible to become “Officer of the Year.”

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee is an organization that encourages community involvement in aiding and supporting police in West Hawaiʻi.

Individuals Honored at UH Hilo Awards and Recognition Celebration

A faculty, staff , student and volunteer were recently recognized with special honors during the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo 2014 Awards and Recognition Celebration.

UH Hilo MonikerThe Distinguished Service Award for Improving Student was presented to Dr. Tom DeWitt, director of the Office of Applied Learning Experiences (ALEX).

Emily Tarring, a counselor in the Office of Financial Aid, received the Pulama `Ike Award, which recognizes a significant contribution to developing and promoting the spirit and mission of the University.

The Excellence in Service Award, given to a faculty or professional staff for service-related professional skills to UH Hilo and the community went to Gary Nekoba, an IT specialist in the Office of Technology and Distance Leaning.

The Excellence in Building and Ground Maintenance Award, which recognizes significant contributions to UH Hilo by a building or ground maintenance employee, was awarded to Building Maintenance Supervisor Neal Nagao.

Receiving the Chancellor’s Special Campus Recognition Award was Danny Kosora, a community volunteer contributing his skills in landscaping toward improving the campus grounds.

Keani Santa-Isabel from the Office of the Registrar was honored as Student Employee of the Year.

The event also recognized retirees and employees receiving various years of
service awards.

RJ Hampton Files for Hawaii County Council District 5

Well this political race is getting interesting.  RJ Hampton has now entered the Hawaii County Council District 5 race.

Roxanne "RJ" Hampton

Roxanne “RJ” Hampton

Many folks remember RJ for stalking President Obama and getting harassed by the secret service for things.

Here is the YouTube video of her I took of her before she went to Washington DC as a legislative assistant for then Councilwoman Emily Naeole.


Here is the PR she has released to the media:

I have had the good fortune to have lived in east Hawai’i for the last 20 years. I have become increasingly active in the community over that time. I believe it would be an honor to continue to serve my community on the County Council.

Our district needs a person on the Council that can work together with the whole Council to champion the concerns of our community and network their support for addressing the needs in our district. My life experiences and people skills can be an asset for you in your County government to accomplish that goal.

I need your support to make it happen.

Roxanne “RJ” Hampton

Test Post and Kiholo Bay Photo

Just a picture of a Kiholo Bay posted to Twitter.  Kiholo State Park planned in the near future!  I know this picture has been seen around the world… I’m checking to see if my website is working accurately!

Kiholo Bay

Kiholo Bay

Feel free to share!

Senator Ruderman on $92,362 Grant-in-Aid for Pahoa Booster Club

The Hawaii State Legislature has appropriated $92,362 in Grant-in-Aid (GIA) funding for the Pahoa Booster Club. This grant will go to towards establishing the Pahoa football program serving the entire Puna area within the 96778 zip code, which includes all Pahoa public and charter schools, with the focus on an eight-man team. The Pahoa Booster Club was formed out of community desire to assist the Pahoa Regional Schools and their student athletic programs.

Senator Russell Ruderman

Senator Russell Ruderman

 “I would like to congratulate the Pahoa Booster Club on receiving this Grant-in-Aid award and for their tireless efforts and support of the youth in Puna. This grant will help to ensure that student athletes will get the support and resources they need to succeed in their desire to compete with their peers on the field,” said Senator Russell Ruderman. “All students deserve the opportunity to develop themselves not just academically, but also physically and mentally through organized athletics. Grants like this help equip them with the appropriate tools and services they will need to improve as individuals and these GIA funds will assist in laying down the foundation to achieve those goals.”


Additional Funds Secured to Fight Coffee Berry Borer Bug

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

Following an announcement from Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono that she and Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard were successful in securing $700,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to combat the coffee berry borer in Hawaii, State Representative Nicole Lowen (Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau) issued the following statement:

“For the last several years, Hawaii Island coffee farms have been battling the coffee berry borer,” Lowen said. “Together with the $500,000 secured by the state Legislature this session to establish a Pesticide Subsidy Program, these monies will go a long way to turning the tide and protecting Hawaii’s coffee industry, which brings in $30 million annually. I am very grateful to both Senator Hirono and Representative Gabbard for their continued strong efforts in looking after Hawaii’s interests in Washington D.C.”

To date the coffee berry borer has destroyed more than $9 million of locally grown coffee since 2010, impacting many small local businesses and farms, especially on Hawaii Island. As a member of the House Finance Committee, Lowen successful secured $800,000 in 2013 and, as noted above, $500,000 this session to combat the coffee berry borer.

Hawaii Lava Flow Update From Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

New camera position on Puʻu ʻŌʻō; The active front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow (Click to Enlarge Pictures)

New flows on the floor of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater over the past few weeks threatened cameras positioned on the crater’s north rim.

Poor weather and winds prevented the power systems for the cameras that were moved from being put into place until today (May 5, 2014). The cameras are now operational, and are visible in the background of this photo, beyond a spatter cone on the north side of the crater floor.

Poor weather and winds prevented the power systems for the cameras that were moved from being put into place until today (May 5, 2014). The cameras are now operational, and are visible in the background of this photo, beyond a spatter cone on the north side of the crater floor.

Two cameras—a thermal camera observing the crater and a regular webcam observing the active Kahaualeʻa 2 flow in the distance—were moved to a safer location partway up the steep northwestern flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone. Another webcam, regularly capturing a panorama of the crater floor, was left in place to maintain a consistent view of the crater.

The distal tip of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, shown here, was 8.6 km (5.3 miles) straight-line distance northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō when mapped today. The flows advanced about 300 m (0.2 miles) since April 28.

The distal tip of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, shown here, was 8.6 km (5.3 miles) straight-line distance northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō when mapped today. The flows advanced about 300 m (0.2 miles) since April 28.

Lava flow from South spatter cone; Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s south flank slowly being buried

A lava flow fed from a spatter cone on the south part of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater floor (the South spatter cone) continues to advance toward the east-southeast, and is about 700 m from its vent.

The flow is the silvery lava that crosses the center of the photo.

The flow is the silvery lava that crosses the center of the photo.

The flow from the South spatter cone has buried part of the southern flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, leaving little of the original tephra that composes the cone visible. Compare this photo to the one taken just a few months ago, on March 7.

The South spatter cone, feeding the flows that have blanketed the south flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, is the prominent, fuming spatter cone just to the right of the center of the image, directly behind where the cone has been covered.

The South spatter cone, feeding the flows that have blanketed the south flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, is the prominent, fuming spatter cone just to the right of the center of the image, directly behind where the cone has been covered.

Big Island Police Investigating Robbery at Liliʻuokalani Gardens

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a robbery Monday night at Liliʻuokalani Gardens in Hilo.
HPDBadgeA 44-year-old Hilo man reported that an unknown man punched him and took his backpack at approximately 8:40 p.m. Monday (May 5).

The suspect was described as a local male, 5-foot-7, 150 pounds wearing slippers and unknown clothing. He was last seen heading south on Lihiwai Street in what may have been a dark blue older-model Honda CRV.

Police ask anyone with information about this case to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

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.