Big Island Television Going Digital

Big Island Television, iconic island information channel for almost 30 years, steps into the digital age on Tuesday, April 1, 2014, according to President A.D. Ackerman who founded the company in 1985.

The Big Island Television team, Vice President Noel Black-Ackerman, Cameraman-Editor-Producer Randall Quander, Office Manager Denise Lindsey, Cameraman-Editor-Producer Lyman Medeiros, "Discover Hawai'i" Hostess Cobey Ackerman, President A.D. Ackerman, Director of Sales & Marketing Rachelle Hennings-Newman

The Big Island Television team, Vice President Noel Black-Ackerman, Cameraman-Editor-Producer Randall Quander, Office Manager Denise Lindsey, Cameraman-Editor-Producer Lyman Medeiros, “Discover Hawai’i” Hostess Cobey Ackerman, President A.D. Ackerman, Director of Sales & Marketing Rachelle Hennings-Newman

Known for in-depth visitor information, as well as historical and cultural programming, Big Island Television (BITV) in its new digital format, will move from Channel 9 to Oceanic Time Warner Cable Channel 97.6 and Channel 130.

Customers are advised that if their TV cable goes from the wall directly to a newer television with an internal digital receiver, BITV can be located with a simple, one-time “channel search” from the television’s menu options.  The scan will quickly locate BITV on Digital Channel 97.6.

Those customers with an Oceanic Cable Box, will find BITV on Channel 130; a channel scan is not needed.

“Now, in this new environment, video images of our people, places, culture and history, will come to life like never before,” said Ackerman.  “People who live here say all the time that they watch BITV, and we hope they will continue to watch and enjoy the experience even more.  We have new programming every single week—and for me, I know I’m always finding something new to learn about our island home.”

Original weekly programs on BITV include “Hawai‘i At Its Best,” a one hour circle island tour, that highlights each district and businesses it contains, and “Discover Hawai‘i,” featuring in-depth interviews with interesting residents, chefs, artisans, musicians, community leaders and more.

Locally owned and family operated, Big Island Television offers 24/7 programming that highlights the unique culture, history and natural wonders of Hawai‘i Island, along with shopping, dining and activity options for visitors and kama‘āina.  An extensive video collection is available online at www.YouTube.com/user/BITVHAWAII and www.BigIslandTV.com.

For more information call 808-322-3672, click www.BigIslandTV.com, watch Digital Channel 97.6 or Channel 130.

Got Guac?

The free, eighth annual Hawai‘i Avocado Festival is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 5 on the Bayfront lawn of the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa.

Got Guac?

Got Guac? Photo by Sonia Martinez

Catering to families, the event has something for everyone: non-stop entertainment, culinary and agricultural activities, plus keiki fun.

Enjoy a farmer’s market; arts and crafts booths and tasty-avocado themed cuisine prepared by food vendors and Sheraton’s culinary team. This year’s festival art is by Kona artist Jan Salerno and available on posters and organic cotton t-shirts.

An updated lineup for the entertainment stage is opening pule by Kumu Danny Akaka and hula at 10 a.m., Aunt Irma’s Kahikina Nahe Nahe at 11 a.m., Bolo at noon, Manuel and Bernice at 1 p.m. and eco-chic vegan fashion show by Gentle Aloha Feast at 2 p.m. Students of the youth mentoring group Incense will model designs by Huluwuwu, Lulie’s and Nohea Hawaii to the music of hip hop artist Pana. Live entertainment continues until 5 p.m.

Learn how to graft avocados at 11 a.m. and hear a panel discussion on “Keeping the Culture in Agriculture” at noon. Get the scoop all day on different avocado varieties at an informative display by the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers.

A 2-4 p.m. composting workshop focuses on basic backyard techniques and working with worms. Those who finish the workshop will get a free composting bin.

The avocado recipe contest offers competition in appetizers, entrees, desserts and vegan. Judging is 10 a.m. with public tasting at noon and announcement of winners at 1 p.m. First place winners will receive prizes from Island Naturals and Kealakekua Ranch Center. Entry form, rules and instructions can be found at www.avocadofestival.org or phone 963-6860.

Hands-on fun for families includes games for keiki, free avocado and vegan products sampling and visits with Recycle Hawai’i’s live mascot, Recycle Dog. In addition, 200 healthy, raw treats will be served to attending keiki as part of the local Feed the Children project. Keiki and adults can also paint silk banners “to banish childhood hunger.”

For festival updates, visit Big Island Avocado Festivals on Facebook, contact Randyl Rupar at 936-5233 or visit www.avocadofestival.org.

Hawaii Avocado and Mango Festivals are sponsored by Sanctuary of Mana Kea Gardens, Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers-West Hawaii and Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

Air Museums Receiving Retiring Navy Aircraft

The first of the Navy Lockheed P-3 Orion aircraft retires to Naval Air Museum Barbers Point, Kapolei today.

Lockheed P-3 Orion

Lockheed P-3 Orion

Barbers Point Museum President Brad Hays and Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Executive Director Ken DeHoff welcomed this historic submarine hunting workhorse from Navy Squadron VP-47 located on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay unit today. The Navy is replacing the P-3 with Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon, the military version based on the commercial airlines 737-800, scheduled to begin in 2016.

Hays said, “I am very proud to accept this aircraft as it helps tell the story of naval aviation at Barbers Point.” DeHoff said Pacific Aviation Museum would be receiving a P-3 from Navy Squadron VP-U2 next month. Both aircraft are on loan from National Museum of Naval Aviation and will be displayed in different colors and the configuration of their units and the missions they flew. Both Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor located on Ford Island, and Naval Air Museum Barbers Point located at Kalaeloa Airport, work together to preserve aircraft and tell their stories. Visitors are welcome.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, which depends on membership and donations for support. A Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, it is rated one of the top 10 aviation attractions nationally by TripAdvisor®. It is located at 319 Lexington Boulevard, Historic Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818, 808-441-1000.

In Celebration of the Merrie Monarch Festival – Learn About Hula Plants from Kumu Hula/Botanist Team

On Friday, April 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Ab Kawainohoikala‘i Valencia and Tim Tunison lead the field seminar “Plants of Hula: Na Mea Kanu o Ka Hula” in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Ab Kawainohoikala‘i Valencia (seated) is the kumu hula (hula teacher/master) of Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu. On Friday, April 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Valencia and botanist Tim Tunison team up for a cultural and scientific exploration of the plants used in hula.  To register for their field seminar “Plants of Hula: Na Mea Kanu o Ke Hula,” please contact Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at 985-7373 or visit www.fhvnp.org. Photo by Dave Boyle

Ab Kawainohoikala‘i Valencia (seated) is the kumu hula (hula teacher/master) of Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu. On Friday, April 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Valencia and botanist Tim Tunison team up for a cultural and scientific exploration of the plants used in hula. To register for their field seminar “Plants of Hula: Na Mea Kanu o Ke Hula,” please contact Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at 985-7373 or visit www.fhvnp.org. Photo by Dave Boyle

“Please join us for this exciting program in celebration of the Merrie Monarch Festival, in which a kumu hula (hula teacher/master) and botanist team up for a cultural and scientific exploration of the plants used in hula,” stated Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Elizabeth Fien.

From kumu hula Valencia, learn about hula plants as kino lau, manifestations of Hawaiian deities in plant form (as his Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu understands them).

“There are plants for the hula altar, the kuahu, which include maile, ‘ie‘ie, ‘ilima, lehua, and halapepe.  In addition, there are adornments—mele hula plants that are worn by the dancers—which include maile, ‘ilima, and lehua, plus palapalai, ‘a‘ali‘i, pukiawe, and ‘olapa,” Valencia explained.

Participants meet at the Kilauea Visitor Center.  The day begins with a welcoming oli (chant), followed by a short walk to the kahua hula—the hula platform that overlooks Halema‘uma‘u Crater, home to the volcano goddess Pele.

Next the group will drive to Kilauea Overlook to discuss cultural protocols used when picking plants—and to walk among native species in their natural environment, with scientific information and insight shared by botanist Tunison.

“After lunch, we’ll visit Tunison’s property in Volcano Village, where he is restoring the land to its native ecosystem.  We’ll get a hands-on lesson in native plant propagation, plus receive plant seedlings to grow at home,” said Valencia.

Valencia was born and raised in Honolulu, though his ‘ohana (family) was originally from Hilo.  He established Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu in Honolulu in 1991, and currently maintains his halau (school) in Honolulu as well as Volcano.

Tunison worked for the National Park Service for over 30 years.  He was a Botanist at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park from 1982-1994 and Chief of Resource Management from 1995-2006, when he retired.  Since then, Tunison has taught field botany, native plant propagation, and forest restoration.

This event is presented by the Hawai‘i Volcanoes Institute, a program of the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a non-profit organization.  Program cost is $45 for Friends members and $65 for non-members.  Students (K-12 and college with valid student ID) are $25.  Non-members are welcome to join the Friends in order to get the member discount.

To register for the “Plants of Hula” field seminar, call 985-7373 or visit www.fhvnp.org.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or reasonable modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should email institute@fhvnp.org or call 985-7373 as soon as possible, but no later than 5 days prior to the program start.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the County of Hawai’i Department of Research and Development and the Hawai’i Tourism Authority.

Rules for Protests at Hawaii State Capitol Challenged as Unconstitutional in Federal Court

A federal lawsuit against the State Department of Accounting and General Services (“DAGS”) charges that outdated rules restricting public use of State property (including the Hawaii State Capitol rotunda and grounds) violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Plaintiffs for the lawsuit are the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii (“ACLU”) and Pamela G. Lichty, President of the Drug Policy Action Group and ACLU board member. They are represented by Daniel M.Gluck, Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU and Alexandra Rosenblatt of Chun Kerr, LLLC.

capital

Public access to grounds and rotunda, noted in the run-up to 2011 APEC meeting, now an issue for upcoming ASEAN meeting, April 1-2.

The lawsuit asks the court to require DAGS to remove burdensome requirements for obtaining a permit – including requirements that small groups have to get the government’s permission before holding a protest; that individuals have to agree to indemnify the State for any injuries arising from their protest (even if the injuries are caused by the protesters’ opponents); and that individuals or groups apply for a permit  weeks in advance (with no exception for spontaneous demonstrations in response to sudden events or news).

The ACLU informed DAGS of these problems over three and a half years ago (more than a year before the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting). The ACLU continued to inform the State of these problems through 2011, 2012, and 2013, but the State has neither changed its rules nor issued any new policies to correct these problems.

The ACLU has assisted several groups in navigating the unlawful permit process, but does not know how many other individuals or groups have been deterred from holding a demonstration because of DAGS’ unconstitutional rules. Honolulu now plans to host Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and defense ministers of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations April 1-2, and the ACLU hopes that this lawsuit will ensure that any individuals or groups that want to demonstrate on State property during the ASEAN Conference (or any other matter) are able to do so.

Daniel M. Gluck said: “After three years of being rebuffed by DAGS and the Attorney General?s office to resolve these issues administratively, it’s clear that the State won’t take any action without being sued.  We need to ensure that the free speech rights of all people are respected and protected, particularly on state grounds such as the Capitol, to show that our government is open, transparent, and participatory.”

Alexandra Rosenblatt said: “Current permitting practices could prevent people from gathering around a legislative measure or breaking community crisis. The State requires a fourteen day lead time for permits, yet legislative hearings only have a 2-3 day lead time. The State also requires that permit holders waive all claims against the state as a condition of exercising their first amendment rights. DAGS has made exceptions, but the absence of consistent, objective standards raises a concern that groups could be treated differently based on the content of their speech. When it comes to our government and state capitol there is no room for opaque rules that hinder community voices from being heard.”

The ACLU’s First Amendment Toolkit is a free guide for those considering demonstrations at the Hawaii State Capitol, or at parks, beaches, sidewalks and more statewide.

Big Island Police Investigating Kona Shooting

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a shooting Friday morning (March 28) in Hōlualoa.

HPDBadgeAt 7:47 a.m., Kona Patrol officers responded to a report of a gunshot victim on Waiono Meadows Road. They found a 26-year-old Hōlualoa man with a gunshot would to his chest who reported that he and his girlfriend had been walking down Waiono Meadows Road when they encountered an acquaintance driving up the road. After the victim and the woman in the car got into a confrontation, the woman in the car reportedly shot him with a rifle.

The suspect fled in the car in the direction of Highway 180.

The victim was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries and released.

Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section are investigating the shooting as an attempted murder.

Big Island Police Identify Victim in Hilo Murder

Hawaiʻi Island police have identified the victim in a murder investigation as 59-year-old Robert A Evanson of Hilo.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday afternoon (March 28) to determine the cause of death.

UlulaniAt 7:32 p.m. Wednesday (March 26), police responded to a reported disturbance at an apartment complex on the 100 block of Ululani Street in Hilo. Upon arrival, police discovered Evanson’s lifeless body in an apartment unit. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center, were he was officially pronounced dead.

Rhonda Faris

Rhonda Faris

Police arrested 52-year-old Rhonda Faris of Pāhoa and 63-year-old Elsworth Hulihee of Hilo on suspicion of second-degree murder.

Elsworth Hulihee

Elsworth Hulihee

They remain at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

Mayor Kenoi to Proclaim April as Child Abuse Prevention Month

Join Mayor Kenoi as he proclaims April as Child Abuse Prevention Month on the Big Island:
Child Abuse Month

Big Island Police Searching for 17-Year-Old Hilo Girl Missing Since January

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

HPDBadgeUlulihi Watson-Hamilton was last seen at her Hilo home on January 14.

She is described as 5-foot-2, 150 pounds with brown eyes and brown 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 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.

Big Island Police Investigating a Murder at Hilo Apartment Complex

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a murder Wednesday (March 26) at a Hilo apartment complex.

Ululani

At 7:32 p.m. Wednesday, police responded to a reported disturbance at an apartment complex on the 100 block of Ululani Street. Upon arrival, police discovered the lifeless body of a 59-year-old man in an apartment unit. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center, were he was pronounced dead.

Police arrested 52-year-old Rhonda Faris and 63-year-old Elsworth Hulihee at the scene on suspicion of second-degree murder. They are being held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

The victim was identified through fingerprints. His identity is being withheld pending notification of his family.

Police ask anyone with information about this case to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Clarence Davies at 961-2384 or cdavies@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Coast Guard Evacuates Four From Molokini Crater After Jellyfish Attacks

The Coast Guard medically evacuated four people after they sustained jellyfish stings while snorkeling near Molokini Crater, Maui, Tuesday.

Molokini Crater

Molokini Crater

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Maui received a call from a charter vessel stating one adult and three children had been stung by jellyfish while they were snorkeling near Molokini Crater.

A 25-foot Response Boat – Small boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Maui launched to the scene.

The crewmembers arrived on scene at 10:10 a.m. and transferred the four injured people aboard the RB-S.

They were transported to the Kihei Boat Ramp in Kihei where emergency medical services were waiting.

The adult was in shock and the three children sustained minor injuries.

Coast Guard Releases Information of Tuna Boat Sinking – Master and Chief Engineer Presumed Dead

The Coast Guard released the results of its investigation into the June 2010 sinking of the U.S. flagged Distant Water Tuna Fleet vessel Majestic Blue 2,100 miles southwest of Hawaii, Friday.

F/V Majestic Blue

F/V Majestic Blue

The investigation revealed twenty-two crewmembers safely abandoned ship and were rescued by a sister ship but the master and chief engineer remain missing and presumed deceased.

The investigation was unable to determine the exact cause of flooding that originated in the steering compartment where steel work was previously performed during an overseas shipyard visit.

However, the investigation determined that the immediate secondary cause of the sinking was due to a shipboard practice of leaving watertight doors open. This caused continued progressive flooding through the open doors throughout the vessel.

In addition, response to the flooding was hampered because the engineering officers could not read or communicate in English and were unfamiliar with emergency response procedures. Under special legislation afforded to the Distant Water Tuna Fleet only the vessel’s captain needed to be a U.S. citizen.

The Coast Guard investigating officer recommended and the Coast Guard commandant concurred that a large fishing vessel of this size should receive additional oversight.

“A benefit of sharing a report of investigation is an opportunity for all fishermen and mariners to learn something from this casualty,” said Cmdr. Jonathan Maiorine, chief of inspections and investigations for the Fourteenth Coast Guard District. “By reevaluating their own onboard procedures for training, communications and emergency drills we hope to prevent similar tragedies in the future.”

Click to view report

Click to view report

The entire report of investigation is available for download on the Coast Guard Homeport website under the investigations tab.

For more information regarding the report of investigation, contact Cmdr. Jonathan Maiorine at (808) 535-3421.

YWCA Honors Sharon Scheele and Audrey Wilson as Remarkable People

The YWCA of Hawaii Island has named local real estate executive Sharon Scheele and culinary specialist Audrey Wilson as its 2014 Remarkable People.

The pair will be honored at the Remarkable Person Luncheon Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Moku Ola Room. The event will be hosted by Sherry Bracken, Hawaii Public Radio news reporter and LAVA-FM 105.3/KKOA-FM 107.7 program host.

“The YWCA is proud to pay tribute to these remarkable women for their significant achievements,” said Kathleen McGilvray, CEO of YWCA Hawaii Island. “Sharon and Audrey have been trailblazers in their respective fields and in their commitment to helping women, children and the community.”

Sharon Scheele

Sharon Scheele

Scheele has lived in Hilo since 1969. She was born in Oklahoma, raised in El Paso, Texas and lived in Los Angeles, Portland and Honolulu. Since 1972, she’s been involved in real estate; she and husband Al Inoue organized Inoue Hawaii Realty Corporation in 1978 and together, they led a team that converted the Hilo Lagoon Hotel into a residential/commercial condominium known as The Hilo Lagoon Centre. Scheele has long served the Hawaii Island community. She was the first woman president of the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, president of the Zonta Club of Hilo, and was instrumental in building the Chamber’s business scholarship funds for the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaii Community College. She is current president of the Board of Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island.  She has served on numerous community boards.

Audrey Wilson

Audrey Wilson

Wilson was born and raised in Hilo. She retired as Cold Drink Manager from Coca Cola Bottling Company in Hilo and transformed her lifelong passion for food into a new vocation, including a catering business, AJ and Sons, with her son, Dean. Wilson headlines the weekly Let’s Talk About Food column in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, is a guest contributor to the Food Network Magazine and has published three cookbooks. She is a director of Big Island Wellness Solutions and launched a culinary career starter program at Big Island Substance Abuse Council. She is a culinary arts instructor at Hawaii Community College and for the Junior Chefs program at E.B. DeSilva Elementary School. Wilson was President of Hawaii Island United Way. She is co-owner and baker for AJ’s Volcano Cottage and Studio.

Both women are past presidents of their Rotary Clubs.

There are a limited number of tickets and sponsorship opportunities still available. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Rachel Amar at the YWCA of Hawaii Island at 935-6067 x121 or email her at ramar@ywcahawaiiisland.org.

Big Island Police Searching for Suspect Involved in Assault Captured on Video Surveillance

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an assault on Monday (March 24) in Hilo and are looking for a suspect who was captured on video surveillance.

Any seen this guy?

Anyone seen this guy?

At about 1:30 a.m. Monday, police responded to an area near the intersection of Kilauea Avenue and Aupuni Street after receiving a report of an assault. Responding officers contacted a 51-year-old Hilo man who reported that an unidentified man punched him while the suspect’s male companion held the victim down.

Officers recovered surveillance video footage. It appears to depict a man wearing a hooded flannel print-type jacket and shirt.
Robber on tape2Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects, described by the victim as local, in their 30’s, 5-foot-6, about 150 pounds with medium builds and tan complexions.

Detectives from the Area I Juvenile Aid Section are continuing the investigation, which is classified as a misdemeanor assault.

Police ask anyone with information on this incident or anyone who may recognize the suspect to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Scott Amaral at 961-2276 or samaral@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Hawai‘i Community College Announces New Director of UH Center, West Hawai’i

Hawai‘i Community College (Hawai‘i CC) is pleased to announce that Dr. Kenneth “Marty” Fletcher has been hired as the new Director of the University of Hawai‘i Center, West Hawai‘i (UHCWH).

Dr. Marty Fletcher

Dr. Marty Fletcher

The University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents approved the hiring of Dr. Fletcher in February, and Hawai‘i CC hosted a Kīpaepae Hoʻokamaʻāina for Dr. Fletcheron Friday, March 14 at the UHCWH location in Kealakekua.

“With the construction of Hawai‘i Community College — Pālamanui underway, Dr. Fletcher joins us at an exciting time for higher education in West Hawai‘i,” said Hawai‘i CC Chancellor Noreen Yamane. “Dr. Fletcher’s talent and experience as an administrator will serve the college well as we continue to grow and provide opportunities for the people of Hawai‘i Island.”

Dr. Fletcher spent much of his youth on O‘ahu and still has family there. Prior to joining UHCWH, he was the Senior Lecturer (Online Education) and Program Director for Open Universities Australia at Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia.

“I feel truly blessed to be joining the West Hawai‘i ‘ohana of Hawai‘i Community College and the University of Hawai‘i system,” said Dr. Fletcher. “I’m excited to work with the college and the community to make sure we are delivering the excellent higher education opportunities West Hawai‘i deserves. If I had dreamed of a scenario for my return to Hawai‘i Nei when my wife and I first started contemplating returning home, it couldn’t have been any better.”

Dr. Fletcher’s Background

Dr. Fletcher received his Ph.D. in Education, specializing in Learning Management and Educational Technology from Walden University, Minneapolis, MN, and his Masters in International Management from Northern Territory University (now Charles Darwin University), Darwin, NT Australia, from which he also acquired a credential in Adult/Vocational Education. Dr. Fletcher has family roots on O‘ahu but so far spent his professional career mostly in Australia.

Dr. Fletcher was most recently the Senior Lecturer (Online Education) and Program Director for Open Universities Australia at Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. His responsibilities included developing and delivering global online degrees, with approximately 10,000 course enrollments per year, while also leading a small campus-based Bachelor’s Degree program of approximately 80 students (low SES, Indigenous and Pacific Island, first-generation college) in the Logan community.

Contracted after college from Hawaiʻi to play professional basketball in Melbourne, Australia, he worked as a manager in operations and marketing in several industries and public enterprise. His supervisory/managerial experience spans responsibilities over facilities and equipment, staff occupational health and safety, production, accounting, marketing/promotions, and strategic planning.

Subsequent to his athletic career, Dr. Fletcher obtained his postgraduate credentials and worked in vocational and academic tiers of higher education in both the United States and Australia as a manager, teacher, academic staff developer, and scholar. His research publications report on his practical experiences working with educators to apply combined management and technology theories with educational and human behavioral sciences.

About UHCWH

The University of Hawai‘i system operates three University Centers, including the UHCWH. Currently located in leased space in Kealakekua, the UHCWH is administered by Hawai‘i Community College.

UHCWH delivers Hawai‘i Community College classes and programs.

UHCWH also offers distance learning programs provided by the system’s four-year institutions. Through these programs students can earn bachelor, master and doctoral degrees, as well as professional certificates.

UHCWH will move to Hawai‘i Community College — Pālamanui after construction is complete.

For more information, visit: http://www.hawcc.hawaii.edu/ucwh/

Big Island Schools Join Forces to Host PBS Hawaii HIKI NŌ News Program

For the first time, students from four schools representing diverse, rural Hawaii Island communities will join forces to host an episode of PBS Hawaii’s student news program, HIKI NŌ:

  • Kau High School in Pahala
  • Kanu O Ka Aina Learning Ohana in Waimea
  • Kua o ka La Public Charter School – Milolii Hipuu Virtual Academy in Milolii
  • Volcano School of Arts & Sciences in Volcano

This will be the first HIKI NŌ appearance for all four schools. The episode is scheduled to premiere Thursday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. on PBS Hawaii.

Hiki No

From March 31 through April 4, HIKI NŌ Executive Producer Robert Pennybacker, Managing Editor Susan Yim and Editor/Assistant Producer Lawrence Pacheco will visit each school to train students and teachers on their responsibilities as “home-base,” or host, schools. Photos from these sessions will be available for publication after the training period.

Among the students’ host duties will be to present notable facts about their communities.

“One of the key goals of HIKI NŌ is to teach students the skills to tell visual stories about their communities, especially remote communities rarely covered by traditional media outlets,” Pennybacker said. “It’s important for the people of Hawaii to get a glimpse of unique communities across the state, and to give students in those communities a voice.”

Other Hawaii Island schools participating in HIKI NŌ:

  • Connections New Century Public Charter School
  • Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science Public Charter School
  • Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Hilo Intermediate School
  • Hilo High School
  • Kamehameha Schools Hawaii Middle School
  • Kamehameha Schools Hawaii High School
  • Keaau High School
  • Kealakehe High School
  • Konawaena High School
  • Waiakea High School
  • Waiakea Intermediate School
  • West Hawaii Explorations Academy

Hilo International Airport Adds New Speed Bumps to Address Speeding Concerns

The state Department of Transportation (HDOT), Airports Division, advises Hilo motorists of new speed bumps that will be installed at the Hilo International Airport fronting the terminal building on Monday, March 24, to address community concerns about speeding in the area.

Airport Speed Bumps

The first speed bump will be installed at the crosswalk on the Terminal Access Road across from the rental car lot. It will be monitored for the several weeks to help motorists and pedestrians adjust to the new changes. The HDOT plans to eventually install speed bumps at all crosswalk locations. Signs will be in place to warn drivers of the alteration.

Motorists are advised to drive with caution while entering the airport terminal area and to be aware of the new modifications.

Hawaiian Electric Company President and CEO to Speak at Next Exceptional Energy Lecture Series at NEHLA

Friends of NELHA (FON) will host the fourth in a series of free lectures regarding energy at the NELHA Gateway Visitor Center on Monday, April 7.

NEHLA

Makai side of the NEHLA plant

Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., President and CEO Dick Rosenblum will be the featured speaker and presenting “Energy Resource Optimization:  What’s Best for  Hawaii?” The Exceptional Energy Lecture Series events start at 5:30 pm and admission is free.

Dick Rosenblum was named president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian  Electric Company, Inc. in 2009. He has 32 years of experience in all facets of the utility business at Southern  California Edison (SCE), one of the largest electric utilities in  California. He retired from SCE in June 2008 as senior vice president of generation and chief nuclear officer responsible for all power generating facilities, including nuclear and related fuel supplies.

During that tenure, Rosenblum helped initiate one of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic projects which aimed to install 250 megawatts of solar generating capacity on commercial rooftops in Southern California.

Previously, he served as senior vice president of SCE’s transmission and distribution business unit, responsible for high-voltage bulk transmission and retail  distribution of electricity in their 50,000 square mile service territory of 4.6 million customers.  He has also held the positions of vice president of engineering and technical services responsible for engineering construction, safety oversight, and other engineering support activities; and vice president of SCE’s distribution business unit, including responsibility for customer service.

Originally from New York, he has also been a part-time resident of Hawai‘i Island for more than 20 years.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree as well as a Master of Science degree in nuclear engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Rosenblum serves on the board of Aloha United Way (Board Chair); Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America; Hawai‘i Business Roundtable and High Technology  Development  Corporation.

The Exceptional Energy Lecture Series consists of five lectures on energy issues. The series is sponsored in part by the Hawaii Energy Resource Center, a component of the County of Hawaii’s Department of Research and Development.

Call FON at 808.329.8073 for more information on the Exceptional Energy Lecture Series.

60 Seniors Selected for Mohouli Heights Senior Neighborhood Project

Phase 1 of the Mohouli Heights Senior Neighborhood project will be dedicated on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 11:00 am.
Mohouli
The sixty-unit senior housing project developed by the Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation (HICDC) represents the initial phase of an eventual 15.9-acre senior complex that will include the relocation of the Hilo Adult Day Center and up to an additional 90 senior residential housing units.

A site blessing for the planned Hilo Adult Day Center building follows the dedication.

“The Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation wishes to acknowledge the assistance that we have received for this project from all levels of Federal, State and County governments,” said HICDC Executive Director Keith Kato.  “Their collective willingness to partner with us is allowing 60 local senior families the ability to move into affordable housing near their families.
We are now moving forward to continue the next phase of the development of the Mohouli Heights Senior Neighborhood project with a new home for the Hilo Adult Day Center to replace their current facility at the old Hilo Memorial Hospital on Rainbow Drive.”

Hilo Friendly Design
The Mohouli Heights Senior Neighborhood project has been designed with Hilo’s rainy climate in mind.  All of the units have cross ventilation provided by doors and windows on the front and back of the units and covered walkways connecting all units to the rest of the complex, including the community center which has a laundry, mailboxes and a large activity room.  All units are one-bedroom, one-bath, a full kitchen and are approximately 590 square feet in size.

60 Seniors Selected Through Lottery Process
The first 60 tenants have been selected through a lottery process run by the County of Hawaii’s Office of Housing and Community Development who volunteered to be the initial point of contact for all units whether the units will receive rental assistance through the County’s Section 8 program or HUD’s Section 202 program. The Office of Housing and Community Development decided that being the initial point of contact for both programs would be less confusing for the senior applicants.

The $19.5 million senior housing complex is being funded by an $8.3 million capital advance from the HUD Section 202 program and $11.25 million in equity derived from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. The $11.25 million in equity is being provided by American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank and Island Insurance Company of Hawaii.  Interim construction financing was also provided by the an $8.6 million loan from the State of Hawaii Rental Housing Trust Fund and a $4.0 million loan from the Rural Community Assistance Corporation.

Hilo Adult Day Center Site Blessing
The Hilo Adult Day Center is currently operating in the old Hilo Hospital on Rainbow Drive.  This present structure, built in 1924, is inadequate to serve the future needs for the growing Day Center over the next 60-70 years.

The Hilo Adult Day Center Board of Directors have long sought an alternative location and are glad that the project has picked up momentum.  Plans for the new facility are being drawn, paid for by a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the County of Hawaii.  Additional funding has been secured during the past two legislative sessions in totaling $1.385 million.

Governor Neil Abercrombie recently announced the release of $385,000 which will go toward the design and construction of the requisite infrastructure to support the Hilo Adult Day Center.  The fundraising goal of $7.5 million has been aided by a $500,000 CDBG grant being proposed this year.  It is anticipated that future funding from the State of Hawaii, private trusts and foundations and community contributions will complete the funding for this needed project.

The Mohouli project represents the Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation’s seventh senior housing complex on the island.  Citing a clear need for such housing, HICDC is planning to pursue funding to develop additional senior housing units at the Mohouli complex as well as projects in Kona.

The 15.9-acre site fronting Komohana Street was conveyed by the State of Hawaii through Executive Order to the County of Hawaii in 2008 for the purpose of developing a senior housing complex and related uses.  The County of Hawaii in turn leased the site to HICDC in 2009 and HICDC secured the necessary funding commitments in 2011.  Site grading commenced in early 2012 followed by the building construction.  The project was granted its Certificates of Occupancy in December 2013.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 16-Year-Old Mountain View Boy

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 16-year-old Mountain View boy who was reported missing.

Rillian H. Woods

Rillian H. Woods

Rillian H. Woods was last seen in Nanawale Estates on February 28.

He is described as 5-foot-8, 120 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts 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 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.