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Big Island Police Searching for 17-Year-Old Pahoa Girl

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

Lehua Muranaka-Walton YouTube profile picture

Lehua Muranaka-Walton was last seen in Pāhoa on September 23.

She is described as Caucasian 5-foot-1, 120 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

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.

Mayoral Luncheon March 2 Featuring Mayor Harry Kim, County of Hawaii Leadership and Business Expo

Mayor Harry Kim and select cabinet members discuss opportunities and challenges to West Hawai‘i’s economy at the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC) 2017 Luncheon 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Thurs., March 2 at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

Sponsored by the Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Hawaii Water Service and Pacific Media Group, the annual luncheon offers a unique opportunity for the local community to meet with county department representatives in a casual setting.

Attendees will have the opportunity to have lunch with a specific county department, as well as pose questions to the mayor and cabinet heads. Issues discussed may include update on county priorities, roads and infrastructure, affordable housing, mass transit and opportunities for economic development in West Hawai‘i.

In addition, attendees can also learn about new and existing KKCC businesses at the Chamber’s annual Business Expo, which precedes and follows the banquet. Times are 10 -11:30 a.m. and 1:30-2 p.m.

General admission is $68; Chamber and Rotary members $58. RSVP by Monday, February 27; no walk-ins are allowed. For more information and/or to register, visit www.kona-kohala.com or call the Chamber office, 808-329-1758.

HAWAII VS. PRESIDENT TRUMP

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin announced today that the state of Hawaii has filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump in Hawaii federal court.

Click to read lawsuit

The lawsuit filed today asks the court to block implementation of the January 27, 2017 Executive Order signed by President Trump entitled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” The Executive Order restricts immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen. It suspends all refugee admission for 120 days and bars all Syrian refugees indefinitely. It grants entry preferences to minority religions. This order is the beginning of the fulfillment of President Trump’s campaign pledge to implement a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

Attorney General Chin said, “What makes our country special and a beacon across the world is its inclusive democracy and the rule of law. Everyone in the United States, including the President, must follow the law and follow the Constitution.”

The complaint alleges several causes of action:

  • The Executive Order is unconstitutional because it favorsone religion over another in violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment;
  • The Executive Order is unconstitutional because it denies equal protection of the law on the basis of national origin;
  • The Executive Order is unconstitutional because it curtails the right to travel without any legal justification;
  • The Executive Order is unconstitutional because it deprives individuals of their liberty interests without due process of law;
  • The Executive Order is illegal because it violates the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Administrative Procedures Act.

Hawaii’s papers filed today asked the court to block the order across the country. As the state’s memo argues:

Hawaii joins the many voices that have condemned the Order. But this pleading is not about politics or rhetoric—it is about the law. The simple fact is that the Order is unlawful. By banning Muslims and creating a preference for Christian refugees, the Order violates the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. By those same acts, it violates the equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment. By failing utterly to provide procedures or protections of any kind for people detained or turned away at our airports, it violates the Due Process Clause. And by enshrining rank discrimination on the basis of nationality and religion, it flies in the face of statutes enacted by Congress.

Hawaii has asked for a hearing on its motion for a temporary restraining order in no more than 14 days.

Attorney General Chin added, “Hawaii is an island state. This illegal order affects our state in a unique way. Under this order, an Iraqi permanent resident on the mainland U.S. cannot leave the country without the risk of never being allowed to return, but he still can travel throughout the continental United States. That same person here cannot so much as visit another island within our state for fear of being detained by federal agents at the airport. In the past, the people of this state experienced discrimination by the federal government based on national origin. We must speak up and not let this happen again.”

Assisting the state of Hawaii in the litigation is Neal Kumar Katyal, Esq., former Acting Solicitor General of the United States during the Obama Administration. He is currently a partner at the Washington, D.C. law firm Hogan Lovells, and a law professor at Georgetown University.

Copies of the complaint, motion for a temporary restraining order, and memorandum in support of the motion for a temporary restraining order are attached.

Big Island Police Identify Man Who Died in Motorized Cycle Crash in North Kona

A 59-year-old Kailua-Kona man died from a truck and motorized cycle crash Thursday afternoon (February 2) in Kaupulehu, North Kona, near the 27-mile marker of Māmālahoa Highway (Route 190).
He has been identified as Robert Abeyta.

Responding to a 3:13 p.m. call, police determined that Abeyta had been traveling north on Route 190 on a motorized cycle when he swerved left into the northbound lane of the highway and was struck by a 2009 GMC pickup truck operated by a 35-year-old Waimea man also traveling north.

Abeyta sustained critical injuries from the collision. He was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:40 p.m.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who has any information about the crash to call Officer Kimo Keliipaakaua at 326-4646, extension 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

This is the fourth traffic fatality this year compared with none at this time last year.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Cosponsors Bill to Expedite Veterans Claims Process

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) announced support today for the bipartisan WINGMAN Act (H.R.512), legislation that would streamline the veterans claims process between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and congressional offices that process claims on behalf of veterans and their families.

Tulsi Gabbard at Hawaii County Civil Defense

“It’s my honor to serve the hundreds of Hawaiʻi veterans that contact my office each year for help. However, slow turnaround and thick layers of bureaucracy at the VA too often leave certified congressional staff jumping through tedious hoops to access critical information on behalf of veterans and their families. At times, we have waited for months to get a simple answer from the VA on behalf of a Hawaiʻi veteran. This is unacceptable. The WINGMAN Act would cut through the red tape and allow congressional offices to provide quicker, more efficient service to our veterans,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

Background: The WINGMAN Act would streamline the veterans claims process between congressional offices and their constituents by eliminating the requirement to use the VA as a middle-man. Under WINGMAN, certified constituent advocates would be able to directly access the status of pending claims, medical records, rating decisions, statement of the case, supplementary statement of the case, notice of disagreement, and Form-9 files within a reasonable amount of time, without having to go through a middle-man at the VA.

Each year, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s office helps hundreds of veterans get assistance from the VA and other federal agencies. Constituent advocates are located in every county, and hold regular “office hours” to help constituents, including veterans, with federal agency casework. For a list of upcoming office hours, click here. For information on how the congresswoman and staff can assist constituents, click here.

HDOA Quarantines Coffee Plants on Kauai That May Have Been Shipped from Oahu

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) is investigating the source of coffee plants found at a Home Depot on Kauai earlier this week. Coffee plants from islands infested with the coffee berry borer (CBB) are restricted from being transported to uninfested islands, such as Kauai. Hawaii Island, Oahu and Maui have established populations of CBB.

coffee berry borer (CBB)

Eight coffee plants were found at the Kauai store by HDOA Plant Pest Control specialists conducting pest surveillance on Monday. Since then, HDOA personnel have been working to determine where the plants came from and, at this point, it appears that the plants were transported from Oahu. Coffee berries on those plants have been examined by HDOA entomologists in Honolulu and no CBB have been found. Those plants have been quarantined and will be destroyed as a precaution. HDOA has asked the retailer to provide information on recent plant shipments. Also as a precaution, anyone who purchased coffee plants from that store is encouraged to contact HDOA on Kauai at (808) 241-7132 or the State’s toll-free Pest Hotline at 643-PEST (7378).

“The department is taking this matter very seriously and is working with the store and nurseries to determine the exact source of the coffee plants,” Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture, said while attending a conference on the Mainland.

One of the most devastating coffee pests, CBB was first detected in the state in Sept. 2010 in Kona and discovered in Ka`u in May 2011. In Dec. 2014, it was discovered on Oahu and was reported on Maui in Dec. 2016.

This small beetle bores into the coffee “cherry” to lay its eggs. The larvae feed on the coffee bean, reducing the yield and quality of the bean. Since its detection in Kona, Big Island coffee growers have developed methods to manage the pest, which include using an organic pesticide and field sanitation. Some farms with good management practices have been able to keep infestations down and minimizing yield loss to about five percent of the average coffee crop yield.

CBB is native to Central Africa and is also found in many coffee-growing regions of the world, including Central and South America. It is still unknown how CBB made its way to Hawaii Island and how it got to Oahu and Maui.

Hawaii has strict importation rules that require fumigation of all green coffee beans imported into the state to rid the beans of pathogens and insect pests. Coffee plants and plant parts are also restricted from being imported into Hawaii under Plant Quarantine rules.

After the discovery of CBB in Hawaii, HDOA issued a quarantine order that requires certain treatments and inspection by HDOA Plant Quarantine inspectors prior to shipping interisland. Inspectors will either attach a tag, label or stamp to indicate the shipment passed inspection requirements. For unroasted coffee beans, acceptable treatment protocols include fumigation, freezing and heat treatment.

For more information on CBB in Hawaii go to the HDOA CBB webpage at: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/ppc/cbbinfo/ and the UH-CTAHR webpage at: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/site/CBB.aspx

Island Air Announces Flight Expansion Plans

476 flights each week between O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island, compared to the 266 flights per week it currently offers

With the addition of new Q400 aircraft to its fleet, Island Air has begun increasing the number of interisland flights to its schedule.

Island Air’s first new Q400 aircraft, named Ola Kūpono, which means “safety in everything we do,” began service on January 12, 2017. Photo courtesy of island Air

Over the next four months, Island Air plans to phase in new regularly scheduled flights that will significantly increase its roundtrip service between Oʻahu and the neighbor islands. The number of daily roundtrip flights between Honolulu and Kahului will double to 16; between Honolulu and Kona will increase from six to 10; and the number of daily roundtrip flights between Honolulu and Līhu‘e will grow from six to eight. The airline will also add flights to accommodate high travel days (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays) and spring break travel demands.

By the beginning of May, Island Air expects to offer up to 476 flights each week between O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island, compared to the 266 flights per week it currently offers.

“The added flight service is in response to growing demand from our customers and travel partners and also reflects the improved operational efficiencies of the new Q400 aircraft that are being phased into our fleet” said David Uchiyama, president and chief executive officer of Island Air. “The entire Island Air team remains focused on enhancing the interisland travel experience for residents and visitors, which includes providing more convenient options to island hop, either for business or to enjoy a weekend getaway or visit.”

Island Air’s first new Q400 began service on January 12. The aircraft is 30 percent faster than conventional turboprops, resulting in shorter flight times, which enables Island Air to operate more flights each day. The airline plans to add up to seven new Q400s by the end of the year and will transition its existing fleet of five ATR-72 aircraft out of service.

Island Air currently offers eight roundtrips daily between Honolulu and Kahului (one flight was added on Feb. 1), with three additional roundtrips on Fridays and Sundays; six roundtrips daily between Honolulu and Kona, with one additional roundtrip on Fridays and Sundays; and six roundtrips daily between Honolulu and Līhu‘e.

Island Air’s flight schedule can be viewed at: https://www.islandair.com/flight-schedules

 

Partial Road Closure of Highway 130 (Hilo Bound Lane) Next Week

Hawaii Electric Light announces the partial closure of the Hilo-bound lanes on Keaau-Pahoa Road from Monday, Feb. 6, to Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017.

The makai side of the road, about 1,000 feet before Shower Drive, will be closed to traffic from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Pahoa-bound lanes on the mauka side of the road will be open for two-way traffic flow. Traffic control officers will be on site. Motorists are advised to drive with caution and plan for delays.

This week, Hawaii Electric Light crews installed four hurricane-class transmission poles ranging from 75-90 feet and weighing up to six tons. Next week, crews will complete the transfer of power lines and equipment from the existing poles to the new poles. The completion will allow the state of Hawaii to install traffic signals at the intersection of Keaau-Pahoa Road and Shower Drive as part of its road widening improvement project.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.

Sea Cliff at Kamokuna Ocean Entry Collapses – “Firehose” Flow Was No Longer Visible

HVO geologists hiked to the Kamokuna ocean entry today to assess the status of the sea cliff. When they arrived, the “firehose” flow was no longer visible. However, spatter (bits of molten lava) and black sand flying through the steam plume indicated that lava was still flowing into the ocean and interacting explosively with seawater.

Just below the left side of the steam cloud, a small shelf of the Kamokuna lava delta that survived the New Year’s Eve collapse can be seen.

Within minutes of HVO geologists reaching the ocean entry site, the sea cliff seaward of the hot crack (see Jan. 30 images) collapsed with no warning; fortunately, they were far enough away to not be in harm’s way.

The top photo was snapped just before the collapse occurred. The bottom image shows the remaining sea cliff after the collapse. Yellow arrows point to the same rocks in both photos for comparison.

The entire section of the sea cliff that was seaward of the hot crack collapsed, except for a small block of rock (left) at the eastern end of the crack; this piece of the sea cliff, estimated to be 30 m long and 5 m wide (98 x 16 ft), remains highly unstable and could collapse with no warning. During the collapse, rocks hitting the ocean generated a wave that propagated outward from the coast.

After the collapse, no lava was visible, but is apparently still flowing into the sea based on the continuing steam plume and explosions of spatter.

Yesterday, grinding noises could be heard coming from the crack, and the block of sea cliff on the makai (ocean) side of the crack could be seen to move slightly.

Press and Media Invited to Attend Huge Announcement at Ala Moana Shopping Center Monday

Click to enlarge

It sounds like something big is going to be announced between Hawaii Island Creations and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker as I received a media invite to attend the announcement of a major franchise deal!

Posting this announcement with their permission since I can’t attend personally:

Zonta Hilo’s Mele Spencer Recognized at Hawaii State Senate

On February 1, Mele Spencer was recognized at the Hawaii State Capitol for assuming the volunteer post of Zonta International District 9 governor for 2016-18. The ceremony was arranged by State Senator Lorraine Inouye.

Mele Spencer with recognition at the State Capitol with Hawaii State Senators and members from the Zonta Clubs of Hilo and Leilehua.

Zonta is a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.

“How super to have our state senators recognize Zonta International’s work to empower women across the world,” said Spencer. “What a personal honor for me. Big mahalo to Senator Lorraine Inouye for arranging.”

As governor, Spencer serves as the link between the district and Zonta International and administers affairs of the district, which is comprised of 25 clubs and 543 members in Hawaii, California, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. District 9 also includes seven Z clubs (high school) and six Golden Z clubs (college), one of which is at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Spencer is one of 31 governors worldwide and nine Zontians in the United States serving as a district governor this biennium. She has been a member of the Zonta Club of Hilo since 1998.

16th Annual Feed-A-Thon Begins February 8th

Caring for Hawaii Island’s hungry has always been a challenge once the holidays have passed, as food donations slow down.  Fortunately, Kahikina Ching — the founder and organizer of the 16th Annual Food Basket Feed-A-Thon, has scheduled 10 days this month where residents and visitors may continue to help families in need.

Supported each year by Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union (HCFCU), this unique food drive will be held at HCFCU branches from Honoka`a to Kealakekua, and at select KTA Superstores around the island.

Food items and monetary donations will be accepted at all HCFCU branches Wednesday, February 8th through Friday, February 17th.  HCFCU staff will also sell special ribbons with all contributions going directly to the Food Basket.  See below for branch locations and hours.  For more information, please contact marketing@hicommfcu.com or 808-930-7700.

“Every day during the Feed-A-Thon we see our members and staff donating money and canned food. Whether it’s just one can or one dollar, every donation helps,” said Tricia Buskirk, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union President  & CEO.  “It’s so uplifting to experience these type of activities that strengthen our community as we show compassion, caring and understanding for one another.”

Tommy “Kahikina” Ching collecting food at the 2014 Annual Feed-A-Thon. The Food Basket photo.

Kahikina Ching will be at every KTA Superstore location during the dates and times below thanking people for their donations. Food and monetary donations are equally welcomed, because money donated is used to purchase food from KTA at wholesale prices.  According to Ching, “I can feed six people for just $2!”  To date, the Feed-A-Thon has provided more than one million pounds of food since the event began in 2002.

According to En Young, The Food Basket’s Executive Director, “Kahikina’s Feed-a-thon has always been a perfect complement to the services of The Food Basket. Through his activities we can continue to provide food for those who aren’t currently in a position to provide for themselves.”

Food and monetary donations may be brought to any HCFCU branch:

  • Kaloko: 73-5611 Olowalu St., Kailua-Kona, HI 96740; Phone: (808) 930-7700; Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Kailua-Kona: 75-159 Hualalai Road, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740; Phone: (808) 930-7700;
  • Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Friday 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Kealakekua: 81-6631 Mamalahoa Hwy., Kealakekua, HI 96750; Phone: (808) 930-7700; Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Friday 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Kohala: 54-396 Union Mill Road, Kapaau, HI 96755; Phone: (808) 930-7700; Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Friday 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Honoka’a: 45-690 Pakalana St., Suite A, Honoka’a, HI 96727; Phone: (808) 930-7700; Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Friday 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

KTA Super Store locations and dates are:

  • February 8-9: KTA – Kailua-Kona  (Kona Coast Shopping Center, 74-5594 Palani Road, (808) 329-1677).
  • February 10-11: Waikoloa Village Market (Waikoloa Highlands Center, 68-3916 Paniolo Avenue, Waikoloa Village (808) 883-1088).
  • February 12-13: KTA – Waimea Center (65-1158 Mamalahoa Highway, Kamuela, (808) 885-8866).
  • February 14-15: KTA – Puainako (50 East Puainako Street, Hilo, (808) 959-9111).
  • February 16-17: KTA – Keauhou (Keauhou Shopping Center, 78-6831 Ali`i Drive, (808) 322-2311).

42-Year-Old Woman Dies From Wreck Last Week Identified as Chantel Kaaumoana

A 42-year-old Hilo woman has died from a single-vehicle crash the evening of January 23 on Haku Nui Road in Captain Cook.

She has been identified as Chantel Kaaumoana.

Chantel Kaaumoana

Responding to a 9:24 p.m. call, police determined that a 1981 American Jeep operated by a 34-year-old Captain Cook women had been traveling west on Haku Nui Road when the driver lost control of the vehicle, causing it to overturn. The collision caused Kaaumoana to be ejected from the vehicle and to sustain life-threatening injuries.

She was taken to Kona Community Hospital and then transferred to The Queens Medical Center on Oahu for treatment of her injuries. She was pronounced dead on Wednesday (February 1) at 11:34 a.m.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who has any information about the crash to call Officer Justin Hooser at 326-4646, extension 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Because this crash occurred on a private roadway, the death is not counted toward the official traffic fatality count.

Aid to Independent-Living Seniors Focus of 2017 Kupuna Caucus Bills

Measures to sustain the ability of frail elderly to age in their homes with support services and caregiving assistance are the top priorities of a House-Senate package of bills submitted this session by the Kupuna Caucus.

The Kupuna Caucus consists of 54 House and Senate members, and a broad range of community organizations, government agencies, and individuals concerned about the well-being of seniors in our communities.

“These measures are aimed at helping seniors with some disabilities live out their lives at home, with help from State-sponsored services and family caregivers.  The vast majority of elderly prefer to age in place instead of entering a nursing home,” said Rep. Gregg Takayama, House co-convenor of the Kupuna Caucus (Pearl City, Waimalu, Pacific Palisades).

“This year’s Kupuna Caucus Legislative package includes bills that advance or expand a wide range and diversity of programs focused on the well-being of Hawaii’s kupuna,” said Sen. Les Ihara, Senate co-convener (Kaimuki, Kapahulu, Palolo, St. Louis Heights, Mo’ili’ili, Ala Wai)

A new measure this session proposes a Kupuna Caregivers program to assist community members who are providing care for elders to stay in the workforce by providing a voucher of $70 per day to secure elder care support services, such as adult day care, nursing or transportation.  SB534 is introduced by Sen. Rosalyn Baker, chair of the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection, and Health Committee, and HB607 is introduced by Rep. Takayama.

Kupuna Caucus measures:

HB608/SB528 – Supports full funding of $9 million per year for the state’s Kupuna Care program, which provides support services such as delivered meals and transportation to help disabled elders age in place.

HB609/SB529 – Funds permanent full-time positions at the University of Hawaii Center on Aging for an associate professor and associate specialist.

HB610/SB530 – Appropriates $150,000 to the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman for staff to monitor older adult care facilities in the counties of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui.

HB615/SB531 – Seeks $550,000 for the Healthy Aging Partnership Program, which provides fitness classes and helps chronic disease self-management.

HB611/SB532 – Provides $80,000 for appointment of a state coordinator for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia services.

HB612/SB533 – Supports full funding of $3.1 million to operate each county’s Aging and Disability Resource Center, which is a one-stop referral center for persons seeking support programs and services.

HB607/SB534 – Establishes the Kupuna Caregivers program (Kupuna Care Plus) to assist community members who are providing elder care to remain in the workforce by providing $70 per day for adult day care, nursing or other services.

HB613/SB535 – Requires health insurance policies and contracts to provide coverage for the cost of hearing aids.

HB614/SB536 – Appropriates $95,000 for a fall prevention and early detection coordinator to promote information that helps reduce serious falls by elderly persons.

HB616/SB537 – Appropriate $25,386 to create a program specialist position to oversee the foster grandparent program and senior companion programs in Maui County.

HB433/SB538 – Appropriates funds to the Health Department for posting of care facility inspection reports on the Department’s website.

HB432/SB539 – Makes financial exploitation of an elderly person by a caregiver a felony.

HB434/SB540 – Converts the long-term care community living specialist in the Executive Office on Aging from exempt to permanent civil service status.

HB431/SB541 – Establishes requirements for licensure of gerontologists beginning on 7/1/2018.

HB435/SB542 – Allows the family court to award a grandparent, upon petition to the court, custody or visitation if it is in the best interest of the child and denial would cause significant harm to the child.

“Sail With The Whales” Fundraisers Slated Benefit for West Hawaii Community Health Center

The 4th Annual benefit whale watching cruise is set to sail on Sunday, February 12 and Sunday, March 12, 2017. Community residents and visitors are invited to “Sail With The Whales” and help support West Hawaii Community Health Center’s mission to make quality, comprehensive and integrated health services accessible to all regardless of income.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Hyde watches as a whale swims underneath a Coast Guard Station Honolulu 47-foot Motor Life Boat in waters west of Molokai, Hawaii, U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Angela

This benefit 2-hour whale watch adventure aboard the Ocean Sports luxury catamaran takes off from Kawaihae Harbor at 12:30 pm, returning at 2:30pm. Check in time is noon. During the cruise, guests will enjoy the sounds of Hawaiian music from award winning slack-key (Kiho`alu) guitarist John Keawe.

With only 60 seats available for each cruise, these tickets will go fast for this exciting ocean adventure! Hurry and purchase tickets before you miss the boat!

Tickets are $100 per person and can be purchased by calling Terri at 808-329-0400 or email whchcdevelopment@gmail.com

 

Pēia ka manaʻo o ka Lunamakaʻāinana Tulsi Gabbard i kēia lā i hoʻomanaʻo i ka Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi

Washington, DC— Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the following statement today in commemoration of Hawaiian Language Month:

“People in Hawaiʻi, along with so many around the world, are able to take part in the unique history and culture of Hawaiʻi because of the work to preserve the Hawaiian language over many centuries. Today, the Hawaiian language is an important part of our day-to-day life in Hawaiʻi, woven in throughout our conversations, ever-present in local businesses and communities, and taught in schools across the state. As we commemorate Hawaiian Language Month, we must continue to foster and empower our keiki and communities to share and grow the use of Hawaiʻi’s native language throughout our islands. E ola ka olelo Hawaiʻi, let the Hawaiian language live.”

Background: The Hawaiian language is an official language in the State of Hawaiʻi, along with English. In 2012, an amendment to Hawaiʻi statutes provided that the month of February shall be known and designated as “ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi Month” to celebrate and encourage the use of the Hawaiian language. This measure was the first Act to be codified in Hawaiian and English, and stated: “Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi: E ʻike mau a e kapa ʻia ana aʻe ka mahina ʻo Pepeluali ʻo ia ka ‘Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi’ i mea e hoʻomaikaʻi a e paipai aku ai i ka ʻōlelo ʻana o ua ʻōlelo Makuahine nei lā.”


Wakinekona, DCPēia ka manaʻo o ka Lunamakaʻāinana Tulsi Gabbard i kēia lā i hoʻomanaʻo i ka Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi:

“He ʻōlelo ola o Hawaiʻi nei ka ʻōlelo Makuahine ma muli o nā keʻehina hoʻōla ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi i ʻauamo aloha ʻia no nā kenekulia i kaʻahope akula. ʻIke maoli ʻia ke ola o nei ʻōlelo ma nā ʻoihana, nā kaiāulu, a me nā kula a puni ʻo Hawaiʻi mokuʻāina. I kēia mahina hoʻomanaʻo, e hoʻomaopopo kākou i ke kuleana a kākou e kahukahu a hoʻāmana like ai no ke ola mau o ko Hawaiʻi ʻōlelo makuahine. “E ola ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi!” 

Mōʻaukala: ʻO ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi kekahi o nā ʻōlelo kūhelu ʻelua o Hawaiʻi mokuʻāina, pau pū me ka Pelekānia. Ma 2012 i hoʻoholo ʻia ai ʻo Pepeluali ka “Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi” i mea e pai aʻe ai i ke ola o ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. ʻO kēia ka ʻōlelo hoʻoholo mua i paʻa ma nā ʻōlelo kūhelu ʻelua ʻo ka Hawaiʻi lāua me ka Pelekānia penei: “Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi: E ʻike mau a e kapa ʻia ana aʻe ka mahina ʻo Pepeluali ʻo ia ka ‘Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi’ i mea e hoʻomaikaʻi a e paipai aku ai i ka ʻōlelo ʻana o ua ʻōlelo Makuahine nei lā.”

Translation provided courtesy of ‘Ōiwi TV

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Lawmakers Call For Reinstatement of Glass-Steagall

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) joined 26 Members of Congress in introducing the Return to Prudent Banking Act today. The bipartisan legislation, endorsed by Public Citizen and the AFL-CIO, would reinstate important consumer protections put in place after the Great Depression and require separation between commercial and investment banking.

(Left to right) Reps. Walter B. Jones, Tim Ryan, Tulsi Gabbard, and Marcy Kaptur call for a reinstatement of Glass-Steagall.

“From the Great Depression through the turn of the 21st Century, Glass-Steagall helped keep our economy safe. Repealing it allowed too-big-to-fail banks to gamble with the savings and livelihoods of the American people, with devastating, irrevocable consequences. Hawaiʻi, along with communities across the country, paid the price in 2008 with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Today, the banks that were “too big to fail” in 2008 are even bigger and more powerful now. We must reinstate Glass-Steagall and create a financial system that works for every American—not just Wall Street banks,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)

“The 2008 crash nearly took down our entire economy and led to the great recession which wiped out average Americans’ income. But now, Democrats and Republicans have memorialized support for Glass-Steagall in their respective political platforms. Even President Trump has declared his support for a new Glass-Steagall law,” said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09). “That is why we are here, to build on the momentum and the movement to reinstate Glass-Stegall.”

“Wall Street banks should not be allowed to use taxpayer-insured consumer deposits to gamble in the markets and then get taxpayer bailouts for failed decisions,” said Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-03). “It’s time to put American taxpayers and depositors first.  It’s time to pass the Return to Prudent Banking Act and reinstate Glass-Steagall.”

“I am proud to cosponsor the Return to Prudent Banking Act, which revives the separation between commercial banking and securities companies as written in the Glass-Steagall Act. These are smart financial reforms designed to protect our economy from another financial crisis and hardworking American taxpayers from another Wall Street collapse. We know that the climate of deregulation led to the financial crisis. We can’t let that happen again,” said Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13).

Background: In 1933, the Banking Act—also known as the Glass-Steagall Act—passed amid an atmosphere of chaos and uncertainty to address banking failures of the Great Depression. The goal of its lead cosponsors, Rep. Henry Steagall and Sen. Carter Glass, was to separate commercial and investment banking and restore confidence in the American banking system.

In 1999, Congress repealed the Glass-Steagall Act and removed the barriers between investment banking and traditional depository banks. This action gave financial institutions and investment firms access to the deposits of the American consumer, which then were used to gamble on the Wall Street casino. This misguided deregulation allowed the creation of giant financial supermarkets—that could own investment banks, commercial banks, and insurance firms—and created companies too big and intertwined to fail. This lack of regulation also allowed Wall Street to leverage their debt past sustainable ratios using consumer mutual funds and the pension accounts of American workers as collateral.

Hawaii Homeless Initiative Would Serve 2200 Households

With a proven track record the coordinated statewide homeless initiative has already provided over an eight-month period, financial assistance to 1,279 households, thereby assisting 3,992 adults and children who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Senator Josh Green provides “Homelessness is Hawaii’s most pressing crisis today and requires a comprehensive, all hands on deck solution, so that we can help our most vulnerable citizens. We need new ideas and the right amount of resources to improve matters immediately.”

“Through the Coordinated Statewide Homeless Initiative, we have helped over 4,300 individuals – 2,306 adults and 2,012 children – all of whom were homeless or at-risk for becoming homeless” said Norm Baker, COO of Aloha United Way. “For every homeless individual we rapidly rehoused, we helped three others who were on the verge of becoming homeless. Homeless prevention assistance is a critically important strategy to finding sustainable solutions while simultaneously assisting those who are currently homeless.”

Vice Speaker Mizuno adds “There is a myriad of reasons why an individual or family enter into homelessness so there needs to be a myriad of approaches to address homelessness. The coordinated statewide homeless initiative has a proven record of cost-effective prevention and rapid rehousing services that need to continue so that more families do not fall into homelessness.”

Hilo Casting Call for Extras in Major Movie

EXTRAS NEEDED! This Sunday – February 5 – 6:30am – 11:00am in HILO.

This is your last chance to be in this movie which is completely shot on Hawai’i Island!

RSVP to konasnowpictures@gmail.com

Department of Health Cites Island Recycling, Inc. for Water Pollution Violations at Kapolei and Dillingham Facilities

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has issued a Notice of Violation and Order against Island Recycling, Inc. at both its Kapolei and Dillingham facilities located at 91-140 Kaomi Loop in Kapolei and 1803 Dillingham Blvd in Honolulu respectively.

The company has been cited for failing to comply with Hawaii’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for industrial storm water discharges. DOH has ordered Island Recycling to pay a penalty of $25,400, clean the affected drainage ditch on its property in Kapolei, and take corrective actions at both its Kapolei and Dillingham facilities to prevent the facilities’ from discharging polluted storm water to nearby storm drains and state waters. The company may contest the order and request a hearing within 20 days.

Island Recycling has NPDES permit coverage for both its Kapolei and Dillingham facilities under Hawaii’s General Permit authorizing discharges of industrial storm water. However, during inspections performed in June 2014 and subsequent file reviews, DOH found the facilities were not implementing controls to properly prevent polluted storm water discharges. The company had also placed discarded materials and equipment in a drainage ditch that is recognized as a state water body and protected by state and federal regulations. In addition to inadequate storm water controls at the facilities, Island Recycling also failed to submit Discharge Monitoring Reports required by the NPDES General Permit that are vital to determining the safety and quality of the facilities’ storm water discharges.

The Clean Water Act prohibits discharging pollutants through a point source into state waters unless it is allowed by an NPDES permit. The permit contains limits on what can be safely discharged, monitoring and reporting requirements, and other provisions to ensure that the discharge does not hurt water quality or people’s health. The permit translates general requirements of the Clean Water Act into specific provisions tailored to the operations of facilities discharging pollutants. For information on the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System go to www.epa.gov/npdes/npdes-permit-basics.

The DOH Clean Water Branch regulates, permits, and inspects a variety of industrial facilities ranging from construction sites to landfills and recycling facilities to ensure that these facilities do not pollute Hawaii’s waters especially during rainfall and storm conditions. The Clean Water Branch protects and promotes the health of Hawaii’s residents, visitors, and environment through regulation of high-risk water pollution sources, and education of industrial sectors and the general public. More information about the DOH Clean Water Branch and access to water quality data and files for NPDES permitted facilities is available at http://health.hawaii.gov/cwb/.