3.3 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Honoka’a

A 3.3 magnitude earthquake shook the Honoka’a area of the Big Island around 1:19 AM this morning:

33 honok

HVO Update – Lava Flow Slowly Creeping Towards Subdivisions

Kahaualeʻa 2 flow moving slowly through remote forest, spattering at Puʻu ʻŌʻō

The Kahaualeʻa 2 lava flow remains active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and is still moving slowly through thick forest. The active flows retreated a short amount over the past week due to a deflation-inflation cycle at the summit, with the farthest active flows today at about 7.5 km (4.7 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. These farthest active flows are evident by the smoke in the left hand portion of the photograph. The stalled flow front, in the foreground, is at 8.3 km (5.2 miles) from the vent.
Another view of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow front, with a normal photograph at the left and a corresponding thermal image on the right. The thermal image shows the distribution of active pāhoehoe lobes clearly, with active flows shown by the white colors. This image shows how the active flows have retreated a short distance back from the stalled flow front over the past week.

In Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, a small lava pond (about 5 meters, or yards, wide) continued to be active and was still “gas pistoning” today. Gas pistoning is a cyclic rise and fall of the lava pond surface due to gas buildup and release. During the fall phase, intense spattering disrupts the lava pond surface and releases the accumulated gas. Each cycle lasted about five to ten minutes.

Continued lava lake activity in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater

A closer view of the lava lake in the Overlook crater, within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at Kīlauea’s summit. The lake is now about 160 m by 200 m (520 x 700 feet) in size. The lava rises to the surface in the northern part of the lake (right side in this photograph) and flows towards the south (left). Cracks around the Overlook crater rim (right side of photo) suggest that future collapses of the rim will occur at some point.

Miloli’i Community to Participate in Merrie Monarch Festivals

Pa’a Pono Miloliʻi through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Native Hawaiian Culture Grant is proud to support a group comprised of Miloliʻi and Kohala keiki, kumu and kupuna that are perpetuating the cultural art of Hula through the inter-generational transfer of cultural knowledge.

Miloli'iLed by Kumu Hula Kuwalu Anakalea, a graduate of Kumu Hula Taupori Tangaro and project coordinator Kuakahi Kaupu-Cabuag, Miloliʻi has been requested by Kumu Hula Tangaro to participate in the opening of the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival this Sunday at the Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium. This ceremony is the blessing of all Merrie Monarch Festival events to follow throughout the week. Kumu Tangaro has loosely adopted Miloliʻi and given them the name UNU KOʻA. UNU is the root of the name of all Kumu Tangaroʻs cohorts and KOʻA is the fish aggregation site, prominent in Miloliiʻs rich ʻŌpelu nearshore fishery.

The Milohala group has participated in four hula enrichment camps this past year, three in Miloli’i and one at Ho’oku’ikahi Festival at Pu’ukohola Heiau. Milohala was responsible for greeting Hokule’a on her island-wide community voyage this past year. Miloli’i was Hokulea’s first stop. This performance will be a milestone in Miloliiʻs history. Miloliʻi has never participated in any Merrie Monarch Festival events and has never been deeply connected to a prominent Halau lineage of Hawaiʻi Island.

miloli'i2Pa’a Pono Miloli’i through the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has supported Milohala’s recent activities in preparation for this performance. PPM has provided 3 enrichment-training sessions for Milohala MM participants. PPM has provided all costuming for the performance. Milohala has been in accelerated training mode for the past month. Haumana have learned over 20 hula, oli and mo’olelo.

Although Milohala has only a 5-6 minute spot on the stage, it will be a lifetime of memories for many. This jouney for Miloli’i has been as short as one year and Miloli’i has already secured a spot in the opening ceremony of Merrie Monarch. Miloli’i is re-establishing the cultural richness that its kupuna once hoped to bestow upon the generations to follow and Paʻa Pono Miloliʻi is proud to be a part of this significant event for our community.

After Dark in the Park – May Events

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors in May. All programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association.  Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

NEW! Artist-in-Residence Program. In conjunction with the non-profit National Parks Arts Foundation, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will launch its first Artist-in-Residence program, continuing the legacy of the famous volcano-inspired artists. The debut artist will be Master of Hawaiian featherwork, Rick Makanaaloha Kia‘imeaokekanaka San Nicolas. Rick will provide a public exhibit and lecture about his artwork, his inspiration from Hawai‘i’s sacred volcanoes, and the history and culture of Hawai‘i. His work is currently on exhibit at the Volcano House, and will soon be in Honolulu at the Bishop Museum. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., May 6, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

The 1924

The 1924 eruption of Kilauea. NPS Photo

The 1924 Explosive Eruption of Kīlauea. The May 1924 eruption from Halema‘uma‘u Crater caused community turmoil and one death. Yet of all the known explosive eruptions of Kīlauea before 1924, it was the smallest—the runt of the litter. This small eruption and its magnified impact illustrate the interplay between hazard (what the volcano provides) and risk (the impact of the hazard on us).  On the 90th anniversary of the eruption, HVO geologist Don Swanson and volunteer Ben Gaddis address what happened in 1924, what caused the explosive eruption, and how it stacks up against the much larger eruptions of the past and, probably, the future. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., May 13, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Tī Leaf Kūpe‘e Demonstration. Teana Kahoohanohano shares her knowledge and love of hula adornments. Learn how tī leaves are used to create stunning wristlets and anklets worn for certain hula dances. Watch as a simple leave is transformed into a work of art before your eyes. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., May 14 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

After Dark in the Park Goes to the Movies. Sam Low presents his classic seafaring film, The Navigators: Pathfinders of the Pacific. Anthropologist and filmmaker Sam Low tells the real story of how a thousand years before Europeans knew the Pacific existed, Polynesian seafarers explored and settled this vast ocean using only natural signs to guide them. It’s one of the most amazing stories of human exploration and settlement, and it’s never been properly told. Shot on location in Huahine, Fiji, Satawai and other locations, the 1983 documentary features traditional Satawalese nagivator Mau Piailug, the sailing vessel Hokule‘a, and her crew. Low will be in attendance to answer questions and sign his new book, Hawaiki Rising – Hokule‘a, Nainoa Thompson and the Hawaiian Renaissance. Both the book and the DVD will be available for sale through the Hawaii Pacific Parks Association bookstore the evening of the program. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., May 20 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Mark Yamanaka

Mark Yamanaka

Mark Yamanaka in Concert. Come enjoy free island music with Hilo’s own Mark Yamanaka, a four-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning singer and songwriter. Mark will share original songs from his debut CD, Lei Pua Kenikeni. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.
When: Wed., May 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Ka‘ū ‘Ohana Day. Calling keiki of all ages to join park rangers and take a closer look at the park’s Kahuku Unit for a day of activities. Connect the culture, people and the ‘āina (land) through mo‘olelo (stories), GPS, and compass. A free lunch will be provided when you sign up by calling (808) 985-6019. Deadline to register is May 16. Sponsored by the park, Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and the Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center. Free.
When: Sat., May 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Kahuku Unit, at mile marker 70.5 in Ka‘ū on the mauka side of Highway 11

Ohe Kapela

‘Ohe Kapela

‘Ohe Kapala Demonstration. ‘Ohe kapala, or bamboo stamps, were utilized to present many unique designs for traditional Hawaiian kapa.  Today, these exceptional designs are being used as patterns on all types of fabric. Join Park Ranger Koa Johnasen as he demonstrates how ‘ohe (bamboo) are carved into beautiful designs and how they are used. There will be samples and a hands-on opportunity to learn about this distinctive art form. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., May 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

My Friend Attempted to Save a Man From Dying at Kua Bay Today

My friend reported the following incident today at Kua Bay on the Big Island of Hawai:

Kua Bay

Around 2pm on the 16th I was snorkeling about a quarter mile north of Kua Bay and saw a white male floating face down near the shoreline.

After determining he had no pulse and that it was unsafe to bring him safely to the rocky shore break I swam him back to Kua Bay. The swim took around a half hour to my estimation.

There were two doctors sunbathing on the beach when I brought him in. 911 was immediately called and CPR was given to the man with no success for 30 minutes until the HFD arrived.

They were unable to revive the man as well and put him in an ambulance shortly after.  A bag was found nearby that contained a Hawaiian drivers license that identified him physically.

He was born in 1960, brown hair, medium height and build.

Two hours later HPD called and I gave this statement. At this current time, 32 hrs later, I am unable to find any public information concerning this tragedy.

Jeff McBride

Aikido of Hilo to Host Acclaimed Buddhist Scholar John Steven

Aikido of Hilo will be hosting John Stevens Sensei for its annual Osensei Memorial Seminar on the weekend of April 26 and 27.  Stevens is a 7th degree black belt in aikido and a world-renowned master instructor.  He was a noted professor of Buddhist Studies at Tohoku Fukushi University, in Sendai, Japan and has written over 30 books on Aikido, Buddhism and Asian culture.  Stevens will teach aikido classes on both days at the Aikido of Hilo dojo located at 29 Shipman Street in Hilo.

Akido Teacher

The public is invited to a free public lecture on “The Life of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba and the Origins of Aikido” on Saturday at 3:00 pm as well as a Zenga (Zen brush art) class on Sunday at 3:00 pm.  Both events, taught by Stevens, will be at the Aikido of Hilo dojo.  The lecture is free and there is a $20 fee for the Zenga class.

Every year, aikido dojos around the world commemorate the passing of the Aikido Founder, Morihei Ueshiba, Osensei, which took place April 26, 1969.

Developed early in the 20th century, aikido principles were so profound and its martial art techniques so effective that there was tremendous public demand.  In the 1950s, aikido teachings were made public and have spread to become popular worldwide.

“Aikido is an art of peace and reconciliation. It’s important to have teachers like Stevens Sensei reinforce principles that we can all practice in the dojo and our daily lives”, said Aikido of Hilo Chief Instructor Barbara Klein.  For more information about the free public lecture, Zenga or taking aikido classes please call 935-2454.

Kona Man Charged With Meth Trafficking and Other Offenses

A Kona man has been charged with meth trafficking and other offenses after being found with crystal methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Derwin Breithaupt

Derwin Breithaupt

On Wednesday, officers from the Area II Vice Section made contact with a man and a woman in a car in Kailua-Kona during the course of a drug investigation. After searching the car, police recovered 248.5 grams of a crystalline substance, a small amount of a dried green leafy substance, paraphernalia associated with meth distribution and $2,200 in cash for forfeiture. They also recovered 3.1 grams of a crystalline substance and paraphernalia associated with meth use from the man, 26-year-old Derwin Breithaupt of Kailua-Kona.

Breithaupt and the woman, 29-year-old Karyn Kau of Kailua-Kona, were arrested and taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives continued the investigation.

Wednesday night, after conferring with prosecutors, detectives released Kau pending further investigation. Breithaupt was charged Wednesday night with two counts of meth trafficking, two counts of possessing drug paraphernalia and one count of promoting a detrimental drug. His bail was set at $59,250.

He remained at the cellblock until his initial court appearance on Thursday (April 17).

Highway 190 Closed – Crews Addressing Chemical Spill from Overturned Tanker

The Hawaii Police Department is having traffic routed through Kaiminani Drive and Waikoloa Road due to a traffic accident on Route 190 near the 15 mile marker.

HPDBadgeCrews are addressing a chemical spill from this accident as a tanker type of vehicle overturned. Motorist should avoid this location and expect delays.

Agreement Reached to Place a Conservation Easement Over Lands Owned by Turtle Bay Resort

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced an agreement has been reached between the State of Hawaii, City and County of Honolulu, The Trust for Public Land, and Turtle Bay Resort (TBR) to establish a conservation easement on 665.8 acres of land at Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku. Portions of this land had previously been planned for development but will now be protected forever from future development.

Governor announces North Shore Land Preservation Deal

Governor Abercrombie announces North Shore Land Preservation Deal

“As I said in my State of the State Address this year, ‘there are times for planning, and there are times for acting; now is the time to preserve open spaces at Turtle Bay,’” Gov. Abercrombie said. “This historic agreement is the result of public and private interests joining together to benefit the people of Hawaii and our visitors. This protects the heritage and rural character of the North Shore to ‘Keep the Country Country.’ ”

State Sen. Clayton Hee said: “The shoreline from Kahuku Point to Kawela Bay represents one of the most beautiful and pristine areas on all of Oahu. As elected leaders, we have a profound and solemn duty and responsibility to preserve and protect this shoreline for future generations just as our ancestors did before us.”

The conservation easement will be placed upon the land and will permanently limit use of the land in order to protect the ecological, recreational and open space characteristics of Oahu’s North Shore. TBR will continue to own, use and hold title to the land, but it and future owners of the land will be bound by the restrictions. The easement will protect, and in many cases, allow restoration of critical marine and land ecosystems and Hawaiian cultural resources. It will foster and enable recreational and educational uses of the land.

The total value of this agreement is $48.5 million; $40 million will be provided by the state, $5 million will be provided by the city, and $3.5 million will be provided by The Trust for Public Land. The amounts of money provided by the state and the city are subject to appropriation and release of the funds. Gov. Abercrombie has previously asked for and encourages the Legislature to appropriate $40 million in general obligation bonds. The City Council has previously appropriated $5 million for this matter. TPL will be obtaining funds from various sources. The final documents and details of the agreement are to be worked out between the parties.

“We are excited to be a part of the stewardship to protect these natural resources and to secure forever the public’s access to that entire shoreline from Kawela Bay to Kahuku Point,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “We want to thank the state for its leadership in this effort and to the people around the table who worked hard to make sacrifices and to find common ground. The work is not yet complete, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin said: “The City Council has constantly demonstrated its commitment to land conservation as evidenced by the Fiscal Year 2014 budget appropriation of $5 million to preserve Kawela Bay. Protecting such a valuable natural resource on the North Shore today is an investment that will reap dividends for generations to come.”

This agreement benefits the public in many ways, such as preserving open space and providing public access to beaches in the area at no charge. It also allows public access to more than five miles of coastal hiking trails and opens up the area for traditional native Hawaiian cultural practices. In addition, the agreement keeps recreational use available to the public and prevents the sprawl of urban development in the area.

“This historic conservation agreement is supported by The Trust for Public Land, The North Shore Community Land Trust and many community organizations, residents of the North Shore and people from all over our island, along with visitors who enjoy and treasure the area,” said The Trust for Public Land, Hawaiian Islands State Director Lea Hong.

TBR Chief Executive Officer Drew Stotesbury said, “As a part of the North Shore community, Turtle Bay Resort is proud to contribute to the conservation of these unique lands.”

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 15-Year-Old Pepe’ekeo Girl

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 15-year-old Pepeʻekeo girl who was reported missing.

Shaniyah Das-Laro

Shaniyah Das-Laro

Shaniyah Das-Laro was last seen in Pepeʻekeo on Saturday (April 12). She is described as 5-foot-1, 100 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts 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. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

UH Hilo MOP Students Take Top Awards in Annual Symposium

Four University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Marine Option Program students were recently awarded top honors at the 31st Annual Marine Option Program System Symposium held on April 12 at Kapiolani Community College on O`ahu.
UH Hilo Moniker
The Award for Best Overall Research Paper went to Marine Science senior Amber Forrestral for her project entitled, “Bioimpedance and Condition of Reef Fish Across a Landscape Gradient.”

The Award for Best Internship Project was won by Rebecca Rogers for her project on “Automated, Remote and Near Real-time Sampling and Detection of Harmful Algae using the Environmental Sample Processor.”

Jenae Olson received the Award for Best Poster. Her project, in association with the Division of Aquatic Resources, was on “Determination of the Oxygen Tolerance of Valamugil engeli (Marquesan mullet).”

The PACON International (Hawai’i Chapter) Award for the best project integrating marine science and technology, with a Pacific focus, went to Bradley Young for his project, “Establishment of High Frequency (HF) Radar and Kiosk Interpretation in Hilo, Hawaiʻi.”

Four other UH Hilo students presented their work in the form of oral and poster presentations on research and internship MOP projects that were well received. These students were Christina Crockett, Kevin Bruce, Emily Wallingford, and James Stilley.

The UH Hilo MOP is a hands-on program open to students in any field of study who have an interest in the ocean. It is a certificate granting program that offers courses on marine project development through the Department of Marine Science.

The annual symposium rotates between UH campuses and will be hosted by Windward Community College in April 2015.

For more information, email uhhmop@hawaii.edu or lparr@hawaii.edu.

Hilo Man Charged with Burglary and Theft After Being Caught on Video

A Hilo man has been charged with burglary and theft for allegedly stealing items from a Hilo home in February.

On February 25, a 27-year-old Hilo man reported that he had video surveillance of the suspect removing tools from his attached carport.

Mitchell Kihara

Mitchell Kihara

On Wednesday (April 16) South Hilo Patrol officers located and arrested the suspect, 30-year-old Mitchell Kihara of Hilo, and held him to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

At 10:30 a.m. Thursday, detectives charged Kihara with first-degree burglary and third-degree theft. His bail was set at $5,500.

He remains at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing Girl for Third Time

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 17-year-old Hilo girl who was reported missing again.

Brianna Kehaulani Freitas-Jones

Brianna Kehaulani Freitas-Jones

Brianna Kehaulani Freitas-Jones was last seen in Hilo on March 21. She is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-7, 130 pounds with green eyes and brown hair.

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

(Edit – This is the third time this girl has gone missing recently)

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Winners for 3rd Annual Hawaii Charter School Awards Announced

Hawaii Public Charter School Network (HPCSN) will honor charter schools and leaders at the 2013-2014 Hawaii Charter Schools Awards, taking place Thursday, May 15, 2014 at the Pomaikai Ballrooms at Dole Cannery from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Hawaii Public Charter Schools NetworkToday, HPCSN announced a list of honorees, including:

  •  HPCSN Legislators of the Year – Senator Jill Tokuda and Representative Ken Ito
  • HCPSN Community Partner of the Year -Karen Street, First Insurance Company of Hawaii
  • Charter School of the Year – Na Wai Ola Waters of Life Public Charter School, Mountain View, Hawaii
  • Most Improved Charter School – Kamaile Academy Public Charter School, Waianae, Oahu
  • Creating New Best Practices – Kona Pacific Public Charter School, Kealakekua, Hawaii and Ke Kula o Nawahiokalaniopuu Iki Lab Public Charter School, Keaau, Hawaii

“Our theme is ‘Creating New Best Practices for Public Education in Hawaii,” and it’s only fitting that we’ll recognize charter schools and leaders who are charting paths in new and innovative ways and, in doing so, showing measured success in public charter schools across the state,” said Lynn Finnegan, Executive Director of the Hawaii Public Charter Schools Network.

“Through HPCSN, these schools have an opportunity to share their best practices with fellow schools and help further develop the successes that these unique schools have on the thousands of children they teach each day,” Finnegan added.

Nominations for three additional awards (Charter School Governing Board Member of the Year, Charter School Leader of the Year and Charter School Teacher of the Year) are being accepted by HPCSN through Thursday, April 24, 2014.

The dinner is open to the public and tickets can be purchased by phone at 808-380-6403 or online at 2014hawaiicharterschoolawards.eventbrite.com.

 

Victims Seek Two Investigations – Long Time Hawaii Predator Abused Several Foster Kids

SNAP: “Catholic Charities and state agency should take action”, They gave him “unfettered access to vulnerable boys,” group says.  One key individual won promotions & is now a supervisor at state bureaucracy

A support group for sex abuse victims is urging Catholic Charities and Hawaii state officials and to investigate how a predator was able to foster children.

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 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.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are urging the two organizations to answer questions about how so many boys were placed in the care of Jay Ram. And investigate Roselyn Viernes, who is the head of East Hawaii Child Welfare Services in Hilo, and was the social worker responsible for placing the children in foster homes.

Ram, who is also known as Gary Winnick, is accused of sexually abusing boys that he fostered and adopted in California and Hawaii. He is believed to be the Tampa Florida area. A recent documentary chronicles Ram’s abuse. 

Ram is accused of molesting the boys and exploiting them and forcing them to do hard physical labor. The victims say that Ram threatened them, deprived them of food and refused to let them to engage in regular social activities with their peers out of fear that the boys would report to authorities. Although Ram has been investigated by the police in the past, the victims say that they were threatened with violence and more abuse to keep them quiet. The boys were abused between the ages of 8 and 17 during the mid-to-late 1980s and early 1990s.

SNAP is writing to the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services and Catholic Charities urging officials to do a complete, independent investigation of all placements and the approval processes that allowed dozens of boys to be placed with a predator.

“It is time for action. More than a dozen boys lived with Jay after the first abuse complaints were made known,” said Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP volunteer Western Regional Director.  “Most—if not all—of the boys were molested. How many other children were abused because Catholic Charities and CWS refused to listen to children who were being abused? Subsequent tragedies involving Jay and the boys could have been avoided completely.”

The letters from SNAP, sent today by fax and email, are pasted below.

Letter 1:

Patricia McManaman
Director
State of Hawaii Department of Human Services
P.O. Box 339, Honolulu, HI 96809-0339
Fax 808-586-4890
dhs@dhs.hawaii.gov

East Hawaii Child Welfare Services
75 Aupuni Street Hilo, HI 96720
Fax: (808) 933-0693

Dear Ms. McManaman

We are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), the nation’s largest support group for men and women who have been sexually abused in religious and institutional settings.

We were disturbed and dismayed by the recent news documentary LOVE SERVE SURRENDER (http://youtu.be/v2sFheAc1rQ), which tells the story of Hilo-area rancher Jay Ram, who fostered, adopted, and sexually abused more than two dozen boys on the Big Island.

What is even more upsetting is to learn that high-ranking state social worker Roselyn Viernes has had knowledge of suspicions and complaints against Ram for decades. She is currently working in your East Hawai’i Central offices. According to the news story and corresponding documents, there are records of at least two allegations of abuse against Ram in 1989. Despite this, Viernes continued to place boys in his care. The documents can be viewed here: https://news.vice.com/articles/an-alleged-pedophiles-perfect-scam?trk_source=homepage-feature

It is time for action. State social workers who ignore abuse complaints and put more children as risk must be held accountable. More than a dozen boys lived with Jay after the first abuse complaints crossed Viernes’ desk. Most—if not all—of the boys were molested. How many other children were abused because Ms. Viernes refused to do the right thing? Subsequent tragedies involving Jay and the boys could have been avoided completely.

We ask that you do the following:

–Do a complete investigation of all of Ms. Viernes’ placements and the approval processes that allowed dozens of boys to be placed with a predator,
–Immediately remove Viernes from her position until the investigation is complete,
–Reach out to all boys placed in Ram’s care and let them know they have criminal and civil rights and that help is available.

Your offices may even house the evidence necessary to help criminally prosecute Jay and help his victims get the accountability they deserve.

Hawaii’s most vulnerable kids deserve far better than being placed in foster homes with sex predators.

Mahalo,

Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com
Barb Dorris of St. Louis, MO, SNAP Outreach Director, (314) 503-0003, snapdorris@gmail.com

Letter 2:

Jerry Rauckhorst
President & Chief Executive Officer
Catholic Charities Hawai‘i
Clarence T. C. Ching Campus
1822 Ke‘eaumoku Street
Honolulu, HI 96822
info@catholiccharitieshawaii.org
jrauckhorst@catholiccharitieshawaii.org
(808) 599-8761 Fax

Catholic Charities
Hilo Office
62 Kinoole Street
Hilo, HI 96720
Fax: (808) 961-7059

Dear Mr. Rauckhorst:

We are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), the nation’s largest support group for men and women who have been sexually abused in religious and institutional settings.

We were disturbed and dismayed by the recent news documentary LOVE SERVE SURRENDER (http://youtu.be/v2sFheAc1rQ), which tells the story of Hilo-area rancher Jay Ram, who fostered and adopted—and then sexually abused—more than two dozen boys on the Big Island.

What is even more upsetting is to learn that Catholic Charities had a role in this abuse. According to the news story and corresponding documents, there are records of at least two allegations of abuse against Ram in 1989. Despite this, Catholic Charities, in partnership with Child Welfare Services, placed boys in Ram’s care and allowed other boys to remain with Ram. The documents can be viewed here: https://news.vice.com/articles/an-alleged-pedophiles-perfect-scam?trk_source=homepage-feature

It is time for action. More than a dozen boys lived with Jay after the first abuse complaints were made known. Most—if not all—of the boys were molested. How many other children were abused because Catholic Charities and CWS refused to listen to children who were being abused? Subsequent tragedies involving Jay and the boys could have been avoided completely.

We ask that you do the following:

–Do a complete investigation of all of Catholic Charities’ placements and the approval processes that allowed dozens of boys to be placed with a predator,
–Reach out to all boys placed in Ram’s care and let them know they have criminal and civil rights and that help is available.

Your offices may even house the evidence necessary to help criminally prosecute Jay and help his victims get the accountability they deserve.

Hawaii’s most vulnerable kids deserve far better than being placed in foster homes with sex predators.

Mahalo,

 

Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com
Barb Dorris of St. Louis, MO, SNAP Outreach Director, (314) 503-0003, snapdorris@gmail.com

Coast Guard Suspends Search for Overboard Crewmember of Container Ship

The Coast Guard suspended the search Wednesday for a Japanese crewmember reported overboard from the container ship Hercules Highway, approximately 805 miles northeast of Oahu.

Container ship Hercules Highway

Container ship Hercules Highway

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

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

As part of the AMVER program, the motor vessel’s St. Andrews, Anne Gret and the UACC Masafi assisted the Hercules Highway in the search for the crewmember.

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.

Approximately 2,255 square miles were searched.

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.

 

Department of Education Announces 2014 Graduation Dates

The Hawaii State Department of Education is announcing its 2014 graduation dates for more than 60 schools, including public high schools and charter schools. In all, there will be approximately 11,000 students graduating from public schools this year.

Graduation dates begin in late May with the ceremonies for Pahoa on Hawaii Island on Sunday, May 18.

graduation

Click to view dates

Stolen Checkbook Leads to Eight Felonies for Waimea Woman

A 23-year-old Waimea woman has been charged with eight felonies in connection with a stolen checkbook.

The victim, a 58-year-old Hōlualoa woman, reported on April 7 that a new checkbook from her bank had been stolen. Police investigation determined that some of the checks were later forged and cashed.

Josephine Miranda

Josephine Miranda

The suspect, Josephine Miranda, was arrested Monday (April 14) at a bank in Kealakekua, where she had unsuccessfully attempted to cash another forged check from the stolen checkbook. She was taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

On Tuesday (April 15), Miranda was charged with two counts of theft, two counts of ID theft, two counts of forgery and two counts of possession of unauthorized personal information. Her bail was set at $22,000.

She remained at the cellblock until her initial court appearance on Wednesday.

Big Island Police Still Seeking Hilo Man

Hawaiʻi Island police are renewing their request for information about a 25-year-old man wanted on no-bail warrants and for questioning in connection with unrelated investigations.

Keahi Calvin Sale

Keahi Calvin Sale

Keahi Calvin Sale is described as 5-foot-7, 155 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. He has no permanent address but frequents the Hilo area. He is considered armed and dangerous.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts not to approach him but to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

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

Taser Not Cause of Death in Kona Man’s Death

The final results of an autopsy conducted Wednesday (February 5) on the body of 39-year-old Randall Hatori of Kailua-Kona concluded that the cause of death was cardio-respiratory arrest due to the combined effects of high levels of methamphetamine in his blood, an enlarged heart and a physical struggle.

HPDBadgeAccording to Dr. Lindsey Harle, the forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy, the stress of these three factors likely caused a cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heart rhythm, that led to his death.

Dr. Harle said the autopsy showed minor injuries on the body of Hatori and that, while an electronic control device was used during the confrontation, it did not play a role in his death.

At 12:30 a.m. on February 4, a Kona Patrol officer made a traffic stop at a gas station in a shopping center on Palani Road. The driver, 38-year-old Ernest Ricky Alvarez of Kailua-Kona, was arrested on a $10,000 bench warrant for contempt of court.

Hatori, who was a passenger and was wanted for assault and violating temporary restraining orders, fled on foot.

The officer pursued Hatori on foot and a struggle ensued while trying to apprehend him. Initially unable to restrain Hatori, the officer deployed his conducted electric weapon (commonly known as a “Taser”) in an attempt to subdue him. Hatori continued to actively resist arrest and the struggle continued. Other officers responded to the scene and assisted in restraining Hatori. After Hatori was placed in handcuffs, he became unresponsive.

Fire Department EMTs on scene attempted resuscitation and then transported him to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:53 a.m.

Detectives recovered 7.3 grams of methamphetamine at the scene of the struggle.