Man Overboard! Coast Guard Searching for Man Reported Overboard from Container Ship

The Coast Guard is searching for a male crewmember reported overboard from a container ship approximately 805 miles northeast of Oahu, Monday.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center were notified at approximately 8:23 a.m., regarding a 23-year-old male Japanese national who was reported overboard from the container ship Hercules Highway.

Container ship Hercules Highway

Container ship Hercules Highway

The crewmember was last seen at approximately 7 p.m., Sunday.

An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point launched to the scene and the ship has changed course and is searching for the missing crewmember.

As part of the AMVER program, the motor vessel’s St. Andrews, Anne Gret and the UACC Masafi are assisting in the search.

The Coast Guard regularly coordinates with DoD, commercial vessels that are part of the AMVER program and international partners to conduct searches in the Pacific where extreme distances often limit the resources immediately available to respond. The 14th Coast Guard District area of responsibility encompasses more than 12.2 million square miles of the Central and South Pacific.
AMVER, sponsored by the Coast Guard, is a unique, computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.

Weather conditions on scene are winds of approximately 28 mph, seas of 12 feet and a water temperature of approximately 69 degrees.

For more information, contact the 14th Coast Guard District external affairs office at (808) 535-3230.

Changes in State ID Card and Driver’s License Application Process

Beginning May 1, 2014, the cost of a state identification card and the documents required to obtain a driver’s license will change.

State ID’s will cost $32.00 in Kauai County with a fee of $4 per year, and $40.00 in Honolulu, Maui and Hawaii counties with a fee of $5 per year. The state ID is good for 8 years, and a duplicate will cost $7 in Kauai County and $6 in Honolulu, Maui and Hawaii counties.

Hawaii Drivers License SampleThose obtaining a driver’s license will be required to present two forms of proof of principal residence in Hawaii. Principal residence is defined as the location where a person currently resides even if the residence location is temporary. Any two of the following documents (original or copy) with the applicant as the addressee and stating the applicant’s principal residence will be acceptable proof:

  1. A current valid Hawaii driver’s license;
  2. Vehicle registration or title;
  3. A current voter registration card or other mail addressed to the applicant from a government or medical entity that is not more than two months old;
  4. Utility bill that is not more than two months old with applicant’s name and address;
  5. Checking or savings account statement not more than two months old;
  6. Payroll check or check stub issued by an employer within two months of the application date;
  7. Current mortgage account or proof of home ownership;
  8. Residential rental or time share contract for six months or more;
  9. United States income tax return, W-2 form or 1099 SSA benefits form from the previous year;
  10. Hawaii income tax return from the previous year or W-2 form;
  11. Receipt for personal property taxes paid to a county within the State of Hawaii within the last year;
  12. Medical card issued by a health insurance agency with principal residence address printed on it;
  13. Documentation dated not more than ninety days prior to making application that the individual is receiving State of Hawaii public assistance;
  14. Current property tax assessment bill or statement;
  15. A stamped department of taxation form A-6, application for tax clearance that is not more than six months old;
  16. Homeless applicants may use the address of their current shelter agency, or if not staying in a shelter, may use the general delivery of the post office nearest where they spend most of their time;
  17. Applicants documenting enrollment in a State or Federal address confidentiality program which allows an applicant to obtain and use alternative addresses may use an alternative address on the card but must provide the applicant’s permanent address for file purposes;
  18. P.O. Box numbers are not acceptable to indicate principal residence address unless a number and street name have not been assigned for U.S. mail delivery. An address convention used by the U.S. Postal Service is acceptable;
  19. Affidavit indicating that the applicant currently resides with the affiant, provided the affiant’s address can be verified and the affidavit is notarized within two months of the application date; or
  20. Other documents the examiner of drivers accepts as proof of principal residence in the State of Hawaii.

Volcano School Of Arts and Sciences Receives $618,000 for Planning and Design of New Campus

The Office of the Governor has announced the release of $618,000 to the Volcano School of Arts and Sciences for the planning and design of their new campus in Volcano Village, Hawaii.

Volcano School

Volcano School of Arts and Sciences, a public charter school, was created by community members to educate and nurture the individual strengths and interests of each student. VSAS graduates have demonstrated exceptional success in high school and college. The construction of a new campus will ensure that the successful vision of VSAS will continue long into the future.

Senator Russell Ruderman stated, “I am extremely happy with the announcement of the release of Grant in Aid funds for the Volcano School of the Arts’ new campus and I fully support the new models to education that VSAS provides its students. Students deserve quality options in education and they are motivated by the kinds of challenges that charter schools like VSAS can provide. I am thrilled to support these innovators in education that are demonstrating what’s possible, and learning what works, to put our students in the best possible position to succeed.

The project supported by this funding will provide expanded and improved educational opportunities. This award will provide an exceptional learning environment for all keiki at Volcano School of Arts and Sciences. Additionally, this funding will assist in creating jobs for our district. Our office has worked diligently to ensure that this GIA request made its way through the process, and redoubled our efforts with the knowledge that these funds would be lapsing soon. Through the efforts of many people including C. Mike Kido, Legislative Advisor, Office of Governor Abercrombie and Leila Shar, Financial Performance Manager, State Public Charter School Commission, that request has come to fruition.”

Grassroot Institute ‘Celebrates’ Hawaii’s Tax Freedom Day

In an effort to help Hawaii’s citizens better understand the state tax burden, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is wishing them all a “Happy Tax Freedom Day” today via social media.

Tax Freedom Day
Based on calculations by theTax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day is the day when taxpayers have collectively earned enough to satisfy the tax bill for that year. In other words, for the average Hawaii citizen, if he or she had dedicated every penny of their earnings to their tax bill from the beginning of the year, then today (April 15th) would be the day that bill would be “paid off.”

Hawaii ranks in the middle of the pack for state Tax Freedom Days. Louisiana has the lowest burden (their Tax Freedom Day was March 30th), while Connecticut and New Jersey are the highest (May 9th). The National Tax Freedom Day (using figures from the country as a whole) is on April 21st, three days later than last year–which reflects the slow economic recovery. (As a point of comparison, consider that Tax Freedom Day in the year 1900 would have fallen on January 22nd.)

“Hawaii’s economic recovery has a lot to do with our better-than-average performance,” stated Keli’i Akina, President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. “However, we’ve taken a small step backward and should be wary of policies that will increase the tax burden and slow our economic growth.”

“Most people don’t realize just how hard and long they work to pay their tax bill,” Dr. Akina continued. “We hope that this helps put that into perspective and encourages taxpayers to demand greater fiscal responsibility and accountability from the government and their elected officials.”

Slew of Celebrities Headline Big Island Chocolate Festival

“Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres of New York City headlines a slew of chocolate and cacao celebrities appearing at this year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival gala. Time is 6-10 p.m., Saturday, May 3 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Adding to the star power is Yisa Var and the Girls Nite Out! band.

Chef Jacques Torres

Chef Jacques Torres

Also in the limelight are a host of chocolate savory and sweet culinary treats prepared by top Hawai’i chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners. Think Pork Mole with Tomatillo Salsa or Orange Ginger Chocolate Mac Nut Crunch Torte.

The 6-10 p.m. gala features the creation of a chocolate sculpture using 40 pounds of chocolate—bring your camera—chocolate body painting, fine wines, chocolate-infused beer and the debut of a tasty new Bacardi Mango Fusion cocktail.

Chocolate Festival

Back by popular demand, Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard chocolates returns to the festival to create a decadent, multi-colored sculpture. He recently made the news when he fashioned a massive chocolate cake to serve 15,000 revelers at the centennial celebration of Rodeo Drive. A Washington resident, Wressell was named Pastry Chef of the Year at the 2005 National Pastry Team Championships.

Food Network star Torres leads a stable of off-island chefs who will judge the evening’s culinary creations and also give pre-gala seminars May 2-3. Attendees can also vote for the People’s Choice Award from a host of categories including mouth-watering bonbons.

Torres, who became the youngest pastry chef to earn the prestigious Best Craftsman in France medal for pastry, is the first artisan chocolatier to make his own chocolate starting from cocoa beans. Joining him is celebrity judge Vincent Bourdin of Singapore, a regional chef at Valrhona Chocolate and president of the Asia Pacific Pastry Cup Board.  He is co-author of “Cooking with Chocolate,” which has been translated into five languages. Judging bean to bar “tastes” is cacao and chocolate tasting advisor Ed Seguine of Pennsylvania who has 30 years experience working with farmers and companies in developing cacaos.

Also serving as culinary station judges are Chef Heather Campbell of Kauai‘s St. Regis Resort Princeville and Chef Rhonda Ashton-Chavez of the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.

Girl's Night Out

Girls Night Out!

Girls Nite Out! is a diverse dance band hailing from East Hawai‘i that performs rock, blues, disco, pop, R&B, Hawaiian and country music. Drummer Will Divine founded the group in 2000 with guitarist Wesley Matsuda and offers a variety of guitar, synth and keyboard sounds. The lead vocalist is local performer, actor and morning radio show personality Yisa Var. Adding to the vocal section is Sherry Fox, best known for her appearance on TV’s “Your Big Break,” and Jeff Enriques, who also plays bass.

Volcano Choy

Volcano Choy

Joining Girls Nite Out! is a talented horn section with Moon Brown on saxophone and Jr. Volcano Choy on trumpet. Choy has performed with the likes of Al Jarreau, George Benson and Nancy Wilson.

In addition, a silent auction benefits the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchen” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua. The third annual festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc.

Pre-sale gala tickets are $75 and $100 at the door. New this year is the VIP Fast Wine Pass with early event admission and personalized wine service. Seminar details and tickets for all activities are available online at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Chocolate Fest

Also available is an inclusive Chocolate Lovers package that features a two-night’s stay at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, plus all festival activities at the ocean-side Four Diamond resort; contact info@BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. Attendees who want to stay at the resort during the festival can get a discounted room rate of $269 per night including daily breakfast for two and can book direct with the hotel at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. Mahalo to sponsors and community supporters: The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, Guittard, DeZaan, Valrohna, PreGel, The Wave-92.1, Big Island Honda and Tire Center, Bacardi, Dolphin Journeys, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Cocoa Outlet, Callebaut Chocolate, Cacao Cusina, DHX, Gourmet Foods Hawaii, Johnson Brothers of Hawaii, Ke Ola magazine, Kona Brewing Company, Kona Natural Soap Company, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory and West Hawaii Today.

The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Big Island Police Searching for Hilo Man Wanted on Parole Violation

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating a 42-year-old Hilo man wanted for a parole violation.

Dale Daniel Arruda

Dale Daniel Arruda

Dale Daniel Arruda is described as part Hawaiian, 5-foot-7, 170 pounds with short brown hair and brown eyes. He may have a goatee.

He is known to frequent the Puna District.

Police warn the public against approaching Arruda. Instead, they should immediately call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 to report any sightings.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers 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.

“Run to Honor” – “Click It or Ticket” Keiki Fun Run

In recognition of Police Week, the Hawaiʻi Police Department and Crime Stoppers Hawaiʻi will hold a “Run To Honor” 5K Run/2 Mile Walk and “Click It or Ticket” Keiki Fun Run on Saturday, May 17, at Liliʻuokalani Gardens in Hilo.

HPDBadgeThe public is invited to participate to honor the memory of officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice and to promote crime prevention through the use of Crime Stoppers. This family event includes food, entertainment, informational and activity booths, prizes, a water slide and more.

Entry fee for the 5K Run/2 Mile Walk is $25 dollars and includes a T-shirt. The Keiki Fun Run is free and includes a T-shirt.

Deadline to register is Thursday, May 1. Entries received after the deadline cannot be guaranteed a T-shirt. Late entry fee is $30. Proceeds from this event will go to establish a Crime Stoppers/Police scholarship.

The 5K Run and 2 Mile Walk start at 8:30 a.m. with check-in and early registration from 7-8 a.m.

The Keiki Fun Run for ages 6-14 starts at 9:30 a.m. with check-in and early registration from 7-9:15 a.m.

If participants prefer, they may check in and pickup up a T-shirt and number between May 14 and May 16 from 1-3 p.m. at the Hilo police station at 349 Kapiʻolani Street.

Registration forms are available at police stations island wide and on the Police Department’s website at www.hawaiipolice.com.

For more information, you may call Community Policing Lieutenant Darren Horio at 961-2350 or email him at dhorio@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Big Island Police Participating in National “Take-Back Initiative”

The Hawaiʻi Police Department is encouraging the public to participate in a nationwide prescription drug take-back initiative being sponsored in Hawaiʻi by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the state Department of the Attorney General and the Department of Public Safety.
take backOn Saturday, April 26, members of the public may turn in unused, unneeded or expired prescription medications between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the following collection sites for safe, anonymous disposal:

Komohana Medical Center Complex (upper parking lot)
670 Komohana Street
Hilo

Kona police station parking lot
74-611 Hale Makaʻi Place
Kailua-Kona

Tablets, capsules and all other solid dosage forms will be accepted. Intravenous solutions, injectables and syringes will not be accepted.

Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative.

Having unused and expired medicine in your home increases the risk of prescription drug abuse and accidental poisoning. Proper disposal also helps reduce the risk of prescription drugs entering a human water supply or potentially harming aquatic life.

For more information about the drug take-back program, visit www.dea.gov.

Full Video – Big Island Farmer Exposed as Sexual Predator

In a breaking international news video, a Big Island farmer is found living in hiding in Florida, after his victims in Hawaii came forward to sue him for child sexual abuse.

VICE News today presents Love Serve Surrender. In the documentary, VICE News investigates alleged pedophile Jay Ram, who for decades has managed to foster, adopt, and care for dozens of boys referred by charities and child welfare agencies, despite repeated warning signs that he was a sexual predator.

VICE News today presents Love Serve Surrender. In the documentary, VICE News investigates alleged pedophile Jay Ram, who for decades has managed to foster, adopt, and care for dozens of boys referred by charities and child welfare agencies, despite repeated warning signs that he was a sexual predator.

A VICE News exclusive investigation: Hippie guru Jay Ram was hailed as a public hero for fostering, adopting, and caring for dozens of boys that had nowhere else to go. But years later, a new picture has emerged. Several of his sons have come forward to say that he preyed on them sexually and forced them to recruit other boys to molest. VICE News has uncovered new evidence that shows that charities and child welfare agencies missed several clear warning signs, and continued to place new children in Ram’s care. Until now, he has never faced justice.

…I remember the first time going up there,” says Carlos, now burly and bearded with a large tribal tattoo on his bald scalp. “It was on a big, dry ranch. It was really hot, and I saw all these boys, different nationalities. I said, ‘Wow! Where’s the mom?’ I wasn’t really thinking about it because I saw all these boys having fun…. They could cuss. It’s like they could do whatever they wanted there. And you know, it was cool.”

Just two weeks later, Ram abruptly moved to the Big Island of Hawaii with some of the boys. Shortly thereafter, he was approved to adopt them, and the boys became brothers. As a family, they lived together on a sprawling but secluded property nestled amongst cane fields, dramatic cliffs overlooking the deep blue Pacific, and rolling hills covered with thick rainforest. It looked like paradise. It was anything but.

Alleged victims told us Ram set up a ranking system for the boys, pitting them against one another in a competition for clothes, food, and his affection.

“You were either a ‘Snoot’ or a ‘Louse,’” explains Jared Legro, who met Ram’s boys at a local surf spot and began spending time at their home. He says that Snoots got special treatment, like desserts or trips to the mall or new surfboards. They were also “rewarded” with a chance to sleep with Ram…

More here: An Alleged Pedophiles Perfect Scam

The video, produced by VICE NEWS out of New York, tells the story of former Hakalau farmer Jay Ram, who adopted dozens of boys in California and Hawaii. He then used the boys for sex and slave labor. Ram has been featured in numerous print stories in Hilo. http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/local-news/former-hakalau-sex-abuse-suspect-located-florida

The video also shows how social services had complaints against Ram dating back almost a decade, but failed to protect the boys in Ram’s care.

The boys were able to sue Ram for abuse because of a landmark Hawaii “window” law that allows victims of child sex abuse to use the civil courts for justice, no matter when the abuse occurred. The law expires on April 24.

Jay Ram LetterMembers of SNAP worked with the victims to help expose Ram and encourage other victims and witnesses to come forward.

When Whales Fly

When whales fly?

When Whales Fly

Saw this picture on Twitter… not sure who the original photographer is.

UPDATE: (Pic by Matthew Thornton, 2012) http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/traveler-magazine/photo-contest/2012/entries/150230/view/ … pic.twitter.com/yDnq9mvQ6Y

What is the Odor of Hawaii?

Earlier today I posted about the Glad Garbage Bags that were coined “Hawaiian Aloha – Aloha Hawaiana” and allegedly smelled like… well I guess Hawaii!

Now I’m seeing Secret Deodorant branded that has the Hawaii odor.  What is the odor of Hawaii?

Secret Hawaii

Secret Hawaii

NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII After 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake in Solomon Islands

TO - CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE STATE OF HAWAII

SUBJECT - TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT

THE MAGNITUDE IS REVISED DOWNWARD FROM 8.3 TO 7.8 IN THIS
MESSAGE.  THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.

THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ACTION REQUIRED.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

   ORIGIN TIME - 1015 AM HST 12 APR 2014
   COORDINATES - 11.3 SOUTH  162.3 EAST
   LOCATION    - SOLOMON ISLANDS
   MAGNITUDE   - 7.8  MOMENT

EVALUATION

 BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS
 NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII. REPEAT. A
 DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO
 TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.

THIS WILL BE THE FINAL STATEMENT ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS
ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED.

What Does “Hawaiian Aloha – Aloha Hawaiana” Smell Like?

I’m curious what these smell like?  But really… “Hawaiian Aloha – Aloha Hawaiana”?

Hawaiian Aloha Glad Bags?

Hawaiian Aloha Glad Bags?

Commentary – Bureau of Interior Wants To Control New Development in North Kona

I’m deeply concerned about the actions of the National Park Service and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These federal agencies intend to control how much new development happens in North Kona it seems.

For example, the National Park Service wants the State of Hawaii to designate the Keauhou aquifer as a water resource management area and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to assign nearly 19,000 acres of land in North Kona as a critical habitat area.  In addition, the
National Park Service was the first entity to intervene in the stalled Queen Kaahumanu Highway phase 2 widening project’s section 106 process in early 2011.

These requests, if approved, will impact all new developments in North Kona. It strips home rule authority from the County of Hawaii and adds an additional layer of bureaucracy to the entitlement process.

I firmly believe the County and State of Hawaii are in a better position to manage our resources than a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington D.C.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

New Stop Added to UH Hilo Bus Service

UH Hilo Moniker

The County Mass Transit Administration has revised its bus service for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College to include an additional stop at the new UH Hilo Bookstore by the University’s main Kawili Street entrance, effective Monday, April 14, 2014.

The Hele-On Bus timetable runs Monday through Saturday and offers services to and from the University and HawCC within Hilo. Visit www.heleonbus.org for schedules, including transportation to Kona, Pahoa, Volcano, Pahoa, Keaukaha and other areas.

DLNR Preparing Draft Kawainui Master Plan And EIS

After an extensive public input process, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will release a draft updated master plan for its management of the Kawainui-Hamakua Complex on May 16. At that time, DLNR will initiate a 30-day comment period to seek public comments on the draft plan.

Photo courtesy Division of Forestry and Wildlife

Photo courtesy Division of Forestry and Wildlife

“We will continue to develop and finalize our master plan and prepare an EIS as part of the process, which allows opportunities to hear community concerns,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. “We ask for everyone to go through this important process with us as we listen to all voices in the community.”

The draft master plan, an update of the 1994 Master Plan for Kawainui Marsh, is the result of ongoing discussion with the public that seeks to strike a balance among a wide range of opinions regarding management of the area. An EIS will also be prepared for the project that will allow the community to review environmental impacts associated with the updated master plan concepts as part of that environmental review process.

“We want to make it clear that our primary concern is protection and management of the wetlands in Kawainui and Hamakua,” Aila said. “Our main objectives within the marsh are management of native water bird habitat, including habitat for Hawaii’s four species of endangered waterbirds, and the migratory shorebirds and waterfowl that utilize the area on a seasonal basis.”

“The built elements currently being considered in the draft master plan revision – trails, education center, and cultural facilities – are the result of input we have received from the community,” he added. “Neither our Divisions of Forestry and Wildlife and State Parks nor the planners have an agenda either way regarding built elements and public access. We are seeking to accommodate the various opinions and views presented to us. These proposed features are common to natural areas of this type throughout the country and the world. Whatever built elements ultimately make it into the revised plan should not detract from the fact that our primary focus is protection and management of the natural resources at the Kawainui-Hamakua Complex. We have no intention or interest in creating a ‘tourist attraction’ at Kawainui Marsh, as some have suggested.”

Another important element of the master plan for Kawainui Marsh is the flood control project installed by the City and County of Honolulu and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This involves maintenance of the flood control levee, and maintaining the marsh lands in such a way as they do not inhibit water flow through the marsh and out into the ocean.

According to David Smith, Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) Oahu branch manager, “The main elements of our resource management program include control of invasive vegetation that is choking out bird habitat. This is a very large and ongoing task involving a huge number of personnel-hours and highly specialized equipment. In addition, the program includes control of non-native predators such as cats, dogs, mongooses and rats that prey on the waterbirds. In the upland areas, we are preserving and managing existing forest cover, and converting non-native forest to native forest through selective control of certain tree and shrub species, and the planting of native species.”

These natural resource management activities make up the bulk of DOFAW’s work in the marsh. Other land management responsibilities include cleaning up illegally dumped trash, cleaning out homeless camps along the marsh periphery, control of illegal access and off-road vehicles that damage marsh resources, clearing over-grown vegetation, mowing open lawn areas, and cleaning up decades of abuse and neglect to the marsh before DLNR gained control of the land. These land management activities are an ongoing, though costly part of DOFAW’s responsibility as stewards at Kawainui.

News Video: Big Island Farmer Exposed as Predator – He Adopted Kids, Molested Them

News crew traces him to Florida, where he lives in hiding.  Hawaii “window” law allows victims to sue for justice, Victims speak out about abuse.

In a breaking international news video, a Big Island farmer is found living in hiding in Florida, after his victims in Hawaii came forward to sue him for child sexual abuse.
Jay Ram and three boys he adopted.

Jay Ram and three boys he adopted.

 The full video will be available online on Monday.
The video, produced by VICE NEWS out of New York, tells the story of former Hakalau farmer Jay Ram, who adopted dozens of boys in California and Hawaii. He then used the boys for sex and slave labor. Ram has been featured in numerous print stories in Hilo. http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/local-news/former-hakalau-sex-abuse-suspect-located-florida
The boys were able to sue Ram for abuse because of a landmark Hawaii “window” law that allows victims of child sex abuse to use the civil courts for justice, no matter when the abuse occurred. The law expires on April 24.
Members of SNAP worked with the victims to help expose Ram and encourage other victims and witnesses to come forward.

Taste of the Hawaiian Range Adds Extra Hour to Pig Out

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is Friday, Sept. 26 and expanding to offer three hours of tasting from 5-8 p.m. The 19th annual agricultural festival that showcases the use of pasture-raised, local beef sprawls both inside and out of the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Doesn't this look good?

Doesn’t this look good?

“We want our guests to be able to enjoy a more leisurely experience and so added an extra hour,” says Jeri Moniz, event chairperson.  “The additional time will also give attendees more time to talk story with our local food producers and enjoy the exhibits.”

Tickets for Taste are $45 through Thursday, Sept. 25 and $60 on event day. They will be sold online and at a dozen islandwide locations starting July 1. They will also be available at the door.

Thirty of the state’s top chefs have already confirmed their participation to prepare delectable dishes using pasture-raised beef, pork, lamb, goat, mutton and wild boar—plus a cornucopia of fresh island fruit, veggies, honey, spices and beverages.

Culinary adventure seekers can taste and enjoy all the cuts of pasture-raised beef—everything from tongue to tail—prepared expertly by Hawai‘i chefs.  Enjoy familiar cuts like sirloin tip and ribs, plus beef cheek and the infamous “rocky mountain oysters” or bull testicles.

While “tasting,” attendees can meet Hawai‘i’s food producers at booths and talk story with the ranchers and farmers who make a living growing our food. They can also enjoy exhibits presenting topics related to local agriculture and healthy foods, including the University of Hawai’i’s Mealani Research Station.

Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI. For general event information, phone (808) 969-8228.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should contact Jeri Moniz at 808-960-8411 no later than August 26.

Hawai’i residents can take advantage of Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package—details are being finalized. Phone 808-886-1234 or visit Hilton.com.

Big Island to Launch Global Virtual Studio Transmedia Accelerator

Beginning April 11th, 2014 Global Virtual Studio (GVS), in partnership with the County of Hawaii and the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC), and Creative Industries Division (CID) is set to launch the GVS Transmedia Accelerator.

Hawaii entrepreneurs in the creative industries are often forced to take their talents outside of Hawaii to create intellectual property (IP), only for it to be owned by someone else. The traditional Hollywood model is being challenged by the accelerator model, a disruptive concept empowering the creative entrepreneur to own their IP.

This cutting-edge initiative will empower Hawaii’s creative minds to realize and launch original transmedia franchises for commercial audiences with an investment of $50,000 and mentorship to each selected startup franchise.

Accelerator

The founder of the GVS Transmedia Accelerator is Big Island raised and Konawaena High School graduate, David L. Cunningham, a seasoned filmmaker in both independent and studio arenas. Cunningham made one of Hawaii‘s first independent films, “Beyond Paradise,” as well as the World War II drama “To End All Wars,” starring Kiefer Sutherland, filmed on Kaua’i. Cunningham says, “As a studio filmmaker I was constantly trying to find ways to live and work in the Islands. My wife and I wanted to raise our kids in the same environment we were fortunate to have. Dramatic shifts in the entertainment industry have now made it possible for myself and other filmmakers to work from our home state.”

Mayor Billy Kenoi stated, “The Accelerator Program will be the anchor activity of Honua Studios, newly established in Kailua-Kona with support from the Hawaii County Council. We envision this new facility being a creative hub to attract and support entrepreneurs and industry professionals and increase the number of productions here on Hawaii.”

The Accelerator is part of a surge of activity supported by the HI Growth Initiative (led by HSDC President, Karl Fooks) and Chief Officer of CID, Georja Skinner. Programs like Blue Startups, Hawai’i International Film Festival’s (HIFF) Creative Labs and more are designed to create a synergistic environment statewide.

The GVS Transmedia Accelerator will accept six entrepreneurial teams into the intensive program each year and will provide them with the seed capital and world-class mentors to develop their startup franchises into successful businesses. The goal is to see the best up-and-coming entrepreneurs in Hawaii reach their potential right here in the state.

Cunningham and several other active innovators, including Ralph Winter (Producer of “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four” movies); Mike Frank (Co-founder of Level 3 Communications) and Grant Curtis (Producer of the “Spider-Man” Trilogy, “Oz: The Great and Powerful”) and others will serve as advisors.

The application period for the Program begins April 11th and the Accelerator is slated to launch its first cycle in June 2014. Qualifying applicants must have a commercially viable startup with at least three revenue-generating media platforms. For more information, contact accel(at)globalvirtualstudio(dot)com or visit http://www.globalvirtualstudio.com.

Big Island Senators Welcome Public to Art at the Capitol

Big Island Senators Gilbert Kahele, Josh Green, Russell Ruderman and Malama Solomon opened their doors for an evening at the capitol “museum” during the 6th Annual Art At The Capitol event on Friday, April 4 from 4:30 – 7 p.m. Each senator brings a distinct perspective to the décor of their offices through the personalization of their walls according to interest and taste. The works of art are placed in public areas of the Capitol as part of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts’ “Art in Public Places” program, which was established in 1967, and was the first program of its kind in the nation.

Senator Gilbert Kahele, his nine-year-old grandson Maka'i Okalani Snyder and Senate Sergeant at Arms Ben Villaflor enjoy music by the Hawaii Youth Symphony during the 6th Annual Art at the Capitol, featuring chandeliers hanging in the House and the Senate. The House Sun and the Senate Moon were done by kinetic sculptor Otto Piene.   Photo courtesy of the Senate Communications Office.

Senator Gilbert Kahele, his nine-year-old grandson Maka’i Okalani Snyder and Senate Sergeant at Arms Ben Villaflor enjoy music by the Hawaii Youth Symphony during the 6th Annual Art at the Capitol, featuring chandeliers hanging in the House and the Senate. The House Sun and the Senate Moon were done by kinetic sculptor Otto Piene. Photos courtesy of the Senate Communications Office.

More than 500 residents and visitors toured the capitol taking in all the art on display.

In Kahele’s office attendees viewed a 1972 oil painting depicting Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole by artist Patric Bauernschmidt, who is internationally recognized for her portraits of historical people. Bauernschmidt was the first artist to paint a complete set of works of Hawaiian royalty in a single style.

Kahele Office Art

“This is an elaborate piece representing Prince Kuhio, and it reminds me of my lineage and the history of our island state,” said Kahele.

Solomon’s latest acquisition is a work of art by Honolulu resident Alison Manaut called “Nonolo,” an acrylic painting completed in 1975.

Nonolo

“This piece talks about involving each person as an observer,” said Malama. “Each person will probably have a unique perspective on what it means to them. I wanted this piece in the office because it reminds me of how we legislate and create policy. We have to be creative and solve many complex problems by taking in all kinds of perspectives to come up with a creative solution.”

In Ruderman’s office is a gorgeous photograph called “Volcano House Fireplace,” an image of the lava ocean entry superimposed beneath a carving of the Pele, which is located above the fireplace in Volcano House on Hawaii Island.  The shot was an in-camera double exposure made in 1991.

Ruderman Art

“We are honored to display art from the State Foundation of Culture and the Arts,” Ruderman said.   “Paul Buklarewicz is a resident of Volcano and he is a talented photographer. The Volcano House Fireplace allows our office in Honolulu to have a piece of Hawaii Island with us every day.”

A stunning sand-blasted hand blown glass with gold lead is displayed in Green’s office. It’s called “The Sea Before Me” and was done in 1998 by Wilfred Yamazawa, who keeps an active hot glass sculpture studio in Kealakekua, where he was born.“The Sea Before Me” refers to the nurturing ocean that surrounds the Hawaiian Islands. For Yamazawa, the sea personifies the life blood that defines us because man and nature are bound by the sea – the three are inseparable.

Green Art

“This piece of art specifically reminds me of the richness and beauty that Hawaii has to offer,” said Green. “We’re humbled to have so many unique artwork from talented artists line our capitol walls and shelves.”