Students Sue UH Hilo for Violations of Free Speech on Campus

The University of Hawaiʻi was informed on April 24, 2014 that two students at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court alleging that the University violated their free speech rights on campus.

Anthony Vizzone

Anthony Vizzone

Merritt Burch

Merritt Burch

A copy of the complaint can be found here: hilo.hawaii.edu/documents/Burch_v._UH.pdf . The

Click to read the lawsuit

Click to read the lawsuit

University has issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit:

“The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is committed to free expression and the open exchange of ideas. This case involves the application of specific campus policies that were implemented to protect those values while preserving the educational environment for all students. UH Hilo has initiated a review of the policies involved and the manner in which they were enforced. We will make any changes that are needed to ensure that free expression and First Amendment rights are fully protected.”

Legislature Approves Funding for Pharmacy Building at UH Hilo

State House and Senate Budget conferees have reached final agreement on a proposal to fund a building to house the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP).

UH Hilo Moniker

The agreement totals $33 million, including $28 million in Government Obligation or G.O. bonds and $5 million in Revenue bonds.

“This project has been a collective effort from the very beginning and we want to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this outcome possible,” said Chancellor Don Straney. “We’re especially grateful for the support we’ve received from the House and Senate, beginning with the efforts of our Hawaiʻi Island delegation.”

The DKICP was established in 2007, awarded its first degrees in 2011, and will graduate its fourth class in May. A site has been selected for a permanent facility, which has already been planned and designed.

Big Island Police Officers Recognized as “Officer of the Month” for March and April

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized Officer Blayne Matsui as “Officer of the Month” for March and Officer Bronson Kaliloa as “Officer of the Month” for April.

Blayne Matsui Hilo Exchange Club board President Jay Kimura presents an "Officer of the Month" award to Officer Blayne Matsui.

Blayne Matsui Hilo Exchange Club board President Jay Kimura presents an “Officer of the Month” award to Officer Blayne Matsui.

Officer Matsui was honored for two separate traffic stops in February that led to arrests for various charges, including auto theft and bail jumping. Officer Kaliloa was honored for his role in the successful apprehension of a six-time convicted felon who was in possession of a loaded firearm. Both officers are assigned to the Puna District.

On the morning of February 14, Officer Matsui was patrolling Highway 11 above Mountain View when he noticed a suspicious flatbed truck backing up to a pile of gravel used by the State Highways Division for road maintenance. He initiated a traffic stop on the truck and discovered that the occupant had an outstanding no-bail bench warrant. He investigated and found that the vehicle had been reported stolen several months earlier during a burglary in Kaʻū. Officer Matsui arrested the suspect. The stolen truck was recovered and returned to its owner and detectives were later assigned to follow up on felony charges.

Four days later, while on patrol before dawn in an isolated area of Hawaiian Acres, Officer Matsui initiated a traffic stop on a car with an expired registration and safety sticker. As the car stopped, the front passenger jumped out and fled on foot. Matsui detained the driver and another passenger and learned that the driver had an outstanding $50,000 bail bench warrant. He placed the driver under arrest. He later also issued him numerous traffic citations.

In addition to these traffic stops that illustrate Matsui’s awareness, initiative and ability to spot suspicious activity, he has also displayed his dedication to duty by having perfect attendance over the past year, said Sergeant William Derr, who nominated Matsui for the award.

Bronson Kaliloa Hilo Exchange Club board President Jay Kimura presents an "Officer of the Month" award to Officer Bronson Kaliloa.

Bronson Kaliloa Hilo Exchange Club board President Jay Kimura presents an “Officer of the Month” award to Officer Bronson Kaliloa.

Officer Kaliloa’s case took place on April 2. Shortly after midnight on on that date, Puna Patrol officers responded to a home in the Makuʻu Hawaiian Homes subdivision on a report of a man brandishing a rifle and discharging it into the air. Upon arrival at the scene, a woman informed officers that the unknown man had come onto the property with what appeared to be a rifle and said he was looking for another individual. He shot one round into the air and fled on foot prior to police arrival. Officers made extensive checks in the surrounding area but were unable to immediately locate the suspect.

Around 4 a.m. that morning, officers were summoned back to property after the woman called to report that the man had returned and was now throwing rocks at her house. While searching for the suspect on foot, Kaliloa heard noises and movement in the heavy brush area behind the woman’s house. As he went to investigate the source of the sound, he detected a freshly used trail. He and another officer then made further checks in the darkened area and discovered a man hiding in heavy brush.

Immediately after ordering him out of the brush and securing him, Officer Kaliloa located a loaded sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun on the ground near where the man had been hiding. The suspect appeared to be under the influence of some type of illicit drug, which could have escalated the situation and presented greater risks to the officers. The suspect was arrested and later charged with six firearm offenses, three of which were felonies. His bail was set at $63,000.

According to Sergeant Daylan Asuncion, who nominated Kaliloa for the award, his superb investigative skills in capturing a dangerous convicted felon with a loaded firearm prevented a potentially violent end to the incident.

As “Officer of the Month,” Matsui and Kalilo are each eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

The East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi.

“Revenge Porn” Bill Clears Conference Committee

Vice Speaker John Mizuno (Kamehameha Heights, Kalihi Valley, and Lower Kalihi), the author of HB1750, the revenge porn bill, provided, “I applaud the House and Senate Judiciary Chairs and conferees for passing HB1750, to make it a crime to distribute, transmit or display photos, images or videos of sexual representation or nude photos without the consent of the person represented.  With technology comes different crimes, today our Judiciary conferees passed a very important and progressive bill to address a gap in the law and criminalize such offensive crimes.”

HB1750Mizuno added, “The consequences of posting private images with the intent to hurt the person in such publications is degrading, humiliating, career threatening and at times may cause the person to commit suicide.”  A 15-year old girl in California committed suicide after nude photos were posted of her and a 17-year old Brazilian girl, who was reportedly the victim of revenge porn, also committed suicide.

HB1750 will go to a full House and Senate vote on Tuesday, April 29, 2014.

According to Rep. Mizuno, “The Hawaii State Legislature will have the opportunity to pass major legislation to address this type of hate crime. I believe my colleagues will support this bill and after it goes to the Governor, we could become the third state in the nation to have such legislation, behind California and New Jersey.”

The Brothers Cazimero Return to the Big Island

Back by popular demand, The Brothers Cazimero will perform at Kahilu Theater in Waimea, on Saturday, May 10 at 7 p.m. This contemporary Hawaiian music duo has captivated audiences across the world with their melodious sound for over 35 years.

The Brother's Cazimero

The Brother’s Cazimero (Photo courtesy of Mountain Apple Records)

After performing at Kahilu every presenting season since 1982, this is The Brothers Cazimero’s first performance back on the Kahilu stage following the theatre’s intermission. Robert Cazimero praises “I applaude the efforts of those who have helped Kahilu Theatre return, open in Waimea. It is a wonderful thing and we truly all reap the benefits from such worthwhile and arduous work…E O Waimea.”

The mastery of Robert Cazimero on bass and Roland Cazimero on twelve-string guitar is paired with fluid vocals for a sensational night of Hawaiian music. The Brothers Cazimero have charmed sold-out shows from Carnegie Hall to Tokyo with their showmanship and humor. Audiences of all generations are moved by the aloha felt in their music.

Honored with 25 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards and a Grammy nomination, “The Caz” have released over 35 recordings and 3 DVDs. In 2006, Robert and Roland were inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame.

Getting their start amidst the Hawaiian cultural renaissance of the 1970s, The Brothers Cazimero led the Hawaiian tradition of mele, or song, forward with a modern sound. Today, they continue to infuse elements of the past into their presentation of songs, chants, and dance of their ancestors. Robert Cazimero is also the visionary and kumu hula of Halau Na Kamalei, the first all-male hula halau or school. Members of the halau often accompany the brothers on stage as dancers and as a choral group.

Tickets are $20, $34, $44 or $64 depending on seats. Tickets are available at kahilutheatre.org or call 885-6868.

Coffee Experts Appearing at Ka’u Coffee Festival

Leaders of the specialty coffee industry are traveling to the state’s largest agricultural district in early May to taste and see all the effort that goes into award-winning Ka‘u coffee.

They include a leading voice for seed-to-cup sustainability, Mark Inman of California, and Blake Hanacek of Canada, a proponent of sustainable rural development and agribusiness management.  The men headline the Kaʻu Coffee Festival’s annual reverse trade mission.

Kau Coffee FestivalThe reverse trade mission is part of the sixth Ka‘u Coffee Festival May 10-11 at the Pahala Community Center. The coffee experts learn first-hand about Ka‘u coffee during Saturday festival activities, including guided tastings, farm tours and the opportunity to “talk story” with growers at their booths during the day-long ho‘olauea. On Sunday, the men give guest lectures to local coffee farmers at the annual Ka‘u Coffee College.

“This strategic business initiative creates collaborative relationships for our Ka‘u growers while promoting Ka‘u as a premium coffee-growing origin,” says Chris Manfredi, lead festival organizer and president of the statewide Hawai‘i Farm Bureau. “We’re pleased and proud that notable industry leaders come to Ka‘u to share in our community.”

Inman has been a major voice in the specialty coffee industry for sustainable agriculture, environmental stewardship and social justice and served as president of the Specialty Coffee Association of America in 2008. His campaign to improve conditions in the coffee industry has taken him to local U.S. classrooms, the remote hills of Nicaragua and the floor of the United Nations. Since 2010, Inman served as president of World Coffee Events, which manages seven international coffee competitions, including the World Barista Championship. He is a trader at OLAM Specialty Coffee.

Hanacek is the founder and CEO of A.G.R.O. Roasters and AGRO Café and has extensively researched the current methods of production and consumption of specialty coffee. He has worked and studied in multiple countries and has met with international growers to discuss his Crop-to-Cup method. An accredited roaster, Hanacek has 5,000 hours behind a variety of coffee roasters.

In addition, Robert Curtiss, acting plant pest control manager with the Division of Plant Industry at the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, will give a presentation Sunday at the Ka‘u Coffee College. Serving as the entomologist for West Hawai‘i, Curtiss has experience working with insect taxonomy, semiochemicals and insect biological control.

In its fourth year, the reverse trade mission has hosted numerous other specialty coffee gurus including George Howell of Terroir Coffee, Skip Fay of Dunn Bros Coffee, James Freeman of Blue Bottle Coffee, Anthony Carroll of Starbucks, Jeff Taylor of PT’s Coffee Roasting Company, Po-Jung Hsieh of Soaring Phoenix Trading Company and Jim Munson of Brooklyn Roasting Company.

All coffee-industry related activities at the Ka‘u Coffee Festival are open to the general public; some require a fee. The festival is May 2-11 at a variety of location and details on all activities can be found at www.KauCoffeeFest.com. Call 808-929-9550 or visit www.KauCoffeeFest.com.

Restricted Access to Electronic Welfare Benefits

Effective February 2014, Temporary Assistance for Need Family (TANF) recipients are restricted from withdrawing their cash benefits at certain types of businesses.

Strip Clubs are no longer allowed to accept

LOL… Folks can’t take out their welfare benefits at strip clubs!

Restricted points of access include automated teller machines (ATM) or point of sale (POS) terminals at liquor stores, casinos, and gaming establishments.  Retail establishments that provide adult-oriented entertainment (performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment) also are restricted locations.

Click to view Statewide locations

Click to view Statewide locations

The policy is an outcome of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-96).   The law was enacted in 2012, but States were given time to determine how to best impose the restriction.  Hawaii came into compliance this year.

The TANF program provides monthly cash benefits to families for food, clothing, shelter, and other essentials. The federally funded program is designed to help families achieve financial self -sufficiency.  Grocery stores and retailers that primarily sell products other than liquor, and restaurants, bars or clubs that serve liquor are exempt from the restriction.

For the purposes of accessing TANF cash benefits, liquor stores are defined as retailers that exclusively or primarily sell liquor.  Gaming establishments mean establishments with a primary purpose of accommodating the wagering of money.  These restrictions have been imposed nationwide.

To qualify for TANF benefits, a family must include children under the age of 19 and earn a total gross income under 185% of the 2006 Federal Poverty Level (FPL). For a household of three persons, that’s a monthly gross income less than $2,941; if the household includes an employable adult net income must be under $610. In households where all adults are disabled, care is required for a disabled household member, or there is a child younger than six months of age, the net income must be under $763 per month.  Effective April 18, 2013, assets were disregarded from the eligibility determination.

Restricted Hawaii Points of Sale

Active Licenses with Nudity (4-14)

Statewide Active Licenses with Liquor (4-14)

Former Hawaii Government Chief and Priest Sued, Victims Respond

A former government chief, who resigned from his position after sexual misconduct allegations, has been sued for child sex abuse from when he was a priest. We are glad that victims are being given a voice and grateful for the brave victim for speaking up.

http://www.k5thehometeam.com/story/25326385/catholic-priest-sued-over-alleged-assault-of-kailua-teen

Marc Alexander

Marc Alexander

As this lawsuit moves forward, we hope more information is revealed about how Marc Alexander was able to keep his position as Homeless Coordinator, despite an email warning of the sexual misconduct allegations against him and despite being removed as a priest in 2011.

Alexander was accused of sexual misconduct with a woman while he was a Catholic priest. We want to know why the Governor’s office did not act immediately after receiving warnings about Alexander. He was allowed to resign for “personal matters” a year later after the allegations were threatened to be made public.

According to the email that was sent the diocese was aware of the allegations and the staff at the governor’s office assumed someone else would handle the situation. It is wrong and dangerous to pass the buck on sexual abuse allegations.

http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2012/02/10/14833-former-state-workers-say-governors-office-was-warned-about-alexander/

We applaud the courageous survivor who filed this complaint for coming forward and taking this action in the interest of truth, justice, and the protection of children.

While we are grateful for the 2-year window during which Hawaii lifted the statute of limitations for such crimes – a window that has allowed this case to move forward – we believe sexual crimes against children should carry no statute of limitations whatsoever.

Regardless of such limitations, we urge anyone who has suffered, witnessed or suspects similar crimes to come forward and contact secular authorities.

Statement by Joelle Casteix, Southern California Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949-322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com)

Applicants Wanted for Attorney Disciplinary Board

The Hawaii Supreme Court is seeking applicants for six lawyer and non-lawyer positions on the Disciplinary Board.

JudiciaryThe Board’s duties include overseeing the Office of Disciplinary Counsel which investigates allegations of attorney misconduct and recommends appropriate action to the Hawaii Supreme Court.

The terms will begin on July 1, 2014 and last for three years. The positions are not compensated although travel expenses are reimbursable. Applicants from all islands are being sought.

Qualifications include sound judgment and a willingness and ability to learn the functions and procedures of the Board. The deadline to apply is May 9. 2014. Those interested should submit a letter and resume to the Hawaii Supreme Court, Nominating Committee, c/o Gayle J. Lau, P.O. Box 26436, Honolulu, HI 96825.

Honoka’a Western Week Coming in May

A week wrapped in palaka, paniolo pride and performance rolls out May 17-26, with exciting drama, movies, food events, rededication of the new Honoka‘a Arena, a 90th birthday gala for the Andrade Building and the rollicking fun of Honoka‘a Western Week (HWW).

Honoka'a RodeoSpearheaded by the Honoka‘a Business Association, HWW brings together a lively cast of characters and rich regional history for a week-long celebration. In addition to HWW’s ever-popular Paniolo Parade, Saloon Girl Contest and Mamane Street Block Party, this year’s events ride the range from cultural to historical, food, family fun and more.

Highlights include the touring production of the new play “The Legend of Ko‘olau,” written by Gary T. Kubota with support of the National Endowment for the Arts, Sunday at Honoka‘a Peoples Theater. The play takes place in 1893, when Hawaiian cowhand Ko‘olau single-handedly repelled a militia that had overthrown the Hawaiian queen – and became a legend among his people.

On Monday, Mayor Kenoi and other dignitaries will hold a blessing ceremony and re-dedication of the refurbished “Honoka‘a Rose Andrade Correia Arena.” The new name pays tribute to the family matriarch and benefactor who donated her land to the County of Hawai‘i in support of the Hawai‘i Saddle Club and Hawaii’s paniolo. The restored arena features new covered bleachers, restrooms, concession stand and other improvements. Monday evening’s events continue with a Chili Cook Off at The Landing restaurant.

Honokaa Rodeo

Then on Tuesday, creative hands and imagination work together with the Hāmākua Youth Center group, Calley O’Neill and other area artists to build do-it-yourself stick horses for Friday’s pre-parade stick horse race. Wednesday is Western Movie Night at Honoka‘a Peoples Theater, with a great line up of favorite “horse operas” for all to enjoy.

Thursday is a very special day, as the community is invited to dress up western-style and help celebrate the historic Andrade Building’s 90th Birthday. Beginning at 5 p.m., the evening includes talk story, music by the Country Lads and dancing on the “vintage” ʻ Ōhiʻa Lanai, complete with five of the original barstools. Theme refreshments include “cool sasparilla” and “hot lil’ doggies” for sale, plus custom logo mugs and stadium cups.

The main event, of course, is when the whole town turns cowboy for the Paniolo Parade and Block Party on Friday. Commemorative Honokaʻa Western Week buttons are available now at businesses throughout Honoka’a town for only $3.00 Buttons automatically enter purchasers in the block party lucky number drawing, and are not required for admission to events. However, participants are forewarned that anyone without a button may be subject to “arrest” by roving sheriffs, and locked up in the hoosegow until bail can be arranged (all in good fun, of course).

Honoka‘a Western Week is a volunteer-driven project of the Honokaʻa Business Association, The Hāmākua Farm Bureau and the Hāmākua Lion’s Club celebrating Hāmākua’s paniolo heritage and unique cultural blend. Sponsors include Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, County of Hawaiʻi CPEP, Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter and many other generous supporters. Checks payable to “Honokaʻa Business Association” can be sent to P.O. Box 474, Honokaʻa HI 96727, attention: Honoka‘a Western Week. Anyone requiring special assistance, please contact the Committee prior to May 9, 2014. For more information, follow Honoka‘a Western Week on Facebook.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

  • May 9. Deadline to enter Saloon Girl and Cowboys Got Talent Contests. For information, call Jill Mattos, 808-960-5605 or Lorie Farrell, 808-557-2780.
  • May 17-26. Celebrate Honokaʻa Western Week with Honokaʻa Business Association. Everyone is invited to dress up western-style and visit Honoka‘a town merchants, plus join in different paniolo-theme activities every night. For information, call Jeanne Keller, 808-775-0530.
  • Saturday, May 17, 7 p.m., “Hanau Ke Aliʻi,” a Hula Drama by Halau Na Kipuʻupuʻu about the life of King Kamehameha, Honokaʻa Peoples Theater.
  • Sunday, May 18, 3 p.m., “The Legend of Koʻolau” at Honokaʻa Peoples Theater. A special theatrical production about a true Hawaiian Cowboy written and performed by some of Hawaii’s foremost theatre personas and made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Monday, May 19, 10 a.m. (subject to change) Blessing and re-opening of the newly refurbished Honokaʻa Arena.
  • Monday, May 19. Chili Cook Off hosted by The Landing. Set up at 5 p.m., judging at 8 p.m. Prizes for first, second and third place. For rules and details, please call Evelyn Offenbaker, 430-3593.
  • Tuesday, May 20, 3-5:30 p.m. Stick Horse Workshop. Make-your-own Stick Horse for the Races, with Calley O’Neill and other island artists,at Hāmākua Youth Center.
  • Wednesday, May 21. Western movies at the Peoples Theater
  • Thursday, May 22, 5-8 p.m. Memories of Honoka‘a Western Weeks Past, and blessing of the ʻŌhiʻa Lanai to celebrate the Andrade Building’s 90th birthday

Friday, May 23

  • 2 p.m., Road Closure
  • 3 p.m., Stick Horse Race
  • 4 p.m., Paniolo Parade down Mamane Street in Honoka‘a Town
  • 5 p.m., Block Party, Steak Fry fundraiser for Honokaʻa High School Track and Soccer Teams
  • 6 p.m., Saloon Girl and Cowboys Got Talent Contests
  • 8 p.m., Dancing in the Street

Saturday, May 24

  • 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo “Saturday Slack.” Rodeo tickets are $7 per person per day in advance $8 at the gate.

Sunday, May 25

  • 12 p.m. to Pau, Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo.

Monday, May 26

  • 12 p.m. to Pau, Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo.

 

25-Year-Old Hilo Man Charged with Kidnapping and Other Offenses

A 25-year-old Hilo man has been charged with kidnapping and other offenses in connection with a series of events this past weekend that began in Hilo and ended at a West Hawaiʻi beach thanks to the help of concerned citizens.

Keahi Calvin Sale

Keahi Calvin Sale

On Saturday morning (April 19), police received a report that Keahi Sale had kidnapped an adult female in Hilo. Police began an intensive search for Sale, who was also wanted on three unrelated warrants and had been featured on “Hawaiʻi Island’s Most Wanted.”

That afternoon, the victim managed to call for help to bystanders at Spencer Beach Park. The bystanders physically restrained Sale until police arrived.

Sale was initially arrested and charged with violating terms of release and two counts of violating probation. He was later taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Juvenile Aid Section continued the investigation into the kidnapping incident. On Monday, after conferring with prosecutors, he was charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, terroristic threatening and two counts of abuse. His bail was set at $80,000.

During the investigation, detectives also arrested Sale on suspicion of numerous additional offenses for incidents that reportedly occurred between September and April in Hilo and Puna.

For the September and October cases, Sale was arrested on suspicion of felony assault of a female infant, terroristic threatening, unlawful imprisonment of a 33-year-old woman, four counts of abuse and two additional counts of abuse of a 7-year-old boy.

For a November case, he was arrested on suspicion of terroristic threatening and custodial interference.

For a January case, he was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault of an adult female, unlawful imprisonment, terroristic threatening and two counts of abuse.

For an incident in April, he was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, sexual assault of an adult female, terroristic threatening, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and four counts of abuse, as well as for 11 traffic offenses from Hilo to Puna in connection with the same series of crimes.

After conferring with prosecutors Tuesday afternoon (April 22) on the additional offenses, police did not charge Sale with any of them and will forward those cased to the Office of the Prosecuting attorney for final disposition.

Sale is incarcerated at Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center and is being held there on the three warrants. His initial court appearance for the charged offenses is scheduled for Friday afternoon (April 24).

Hawaii Wildfire – Close Call! GoPro Evacuation

On a viciously windy day while out running some errands in town we get a call from our friends saying “The backyard is on fire blowing straight towards the house, we’re taking the dogs!”.
Maui Wildfire

They were not kidding. We were 10 minutes away, and by the time we got halfway home we could see the black smoke billowing from the horizon, and we got back just in time to pull our valuables out of the house before the Maui County Fire Department closed off the street completely while they battled the 2 acre blaze being fed by the constant 30mph+ winds coming from the north.

Wildfire Truck

With the assistance of many fire trucks and a helicopter bringing water from the ocean less than 1/2 mile away they were able to bring the flames under control before they got to the neighborhood. Nothing was damaged other than the house smelling like a huge campfire for a few days afterwards thanks to the quick response by fire and police units, it could have been very much worse than it was.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/rSxnCUNpQws]

Special thanks to all involved with helping protect our homes, you guys rock!!

Via EpiCapture Productions

Arbitration Award Aligns with DOE Goals in Raising the Bar in School Leadership

An arbitration panel has issued an award for educational officers of the State of Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) who are members of the Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA) bargaining unit 06. The decision, announced April 21, affects DOE school principals and other educational officers.

DOE Release“Our principals do tremendous work in leading their schools towards student and staff success, as seen in recent student achievement gains,” said School Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We are pleased that the arbitration has concluded and we can move forward in supporting our educators to prepare students for college and careers.”

“I want to thank all those who were involved in the various stages of the negotiation and arbitration process,” added Matayoshi.

Major highlights of the arbitration award include:

  • Annual across-the-board salary raises of 4.5 percent for four years, from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2017.
  • A 90-day vacation cap that is consistent with other 12-month educational officers and other 12-month employees.
  • Establishes a rewards and recognition program (RRP) for the last two years. A joint committee of DOE and HGEA representatives led by an outside professional facilitator will determine how to best reward and recognize educational officers based on their performance evaluation rating. The details, criteria and procedures of the RRP will be decided through the committee’s work. The RRP will be able to distribute $200,000 for the 2015-2016 school year and $200,000 in 2016-2017.

In December 2012, HGEA and the DOE agreed to principal performance evaluations on a new Comprehensive Evaluation System for School Administrators (CESSA). These evaluations are being conducted in all 255 DOE public schools.

CESSA was designed to support and improve principal effectiveness, thereby boosting teacher and student performance. This is aligned with Goals 1 and 2 of the Department’s Strategic Plan. The DOE and HGEA worked together to provide school principals with guidelines, training and support in advance of successful CESSA implementation in the 2013-14 school year.

Governor Abercrombie Declares May 3rd as “Big Island Chocolate Festival Day”

Hawai‘i Governor Neil Abercrombie has declared Saturday, May 3 as Big Island Chocolate Festival Day! The proclamation not only heralds Hawai’i’s growing cacao industry, but also the culinarians who masterfully create foods featuring chocolate.

Chocolate Festival

The three-day festival offers a full lineup of chocolate decadence from planting to plating: a Kona cacao farm tour, plus seminars, how-to culinary demonstrations, guided chocolate tastings—yum!— and an indulging festival gala at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i. All activities are open to the public.

Star power celebrity chocolatiers include “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres of New York City, Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard chocolate, Chef Vincent Bourdin of Valrhona Chocolate and cacao consultant Ed Seguine.

Chef Jacques Torres

Chef Jacques Torres

The 6-10 p.m. Saturday gala features the Big Isle’s own celebrated contingent of culinarians for a chocolate-inspired feast of savory and sweet treats. Returning favorites include the savory mole bar staffed by West Hawai‘i culinary students, a towering chocolate fountain complete with fresh fruits and macaroons, plus an array of gaily decorated bonbons.

Gala fun showcases a chocolate sculpture using 40 pounds of chocolate, chocolate body painting, fine wines, chocolate-infused beer and the debut of a tasty new Bacardi Mango Fusion cocktail. Attendees can vote for the People’s Choice Award, dance the night away with Girls Nite Out! band and bid for activities and merchandise at a silent auction.

Hands-on Culinary seminar at last year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival

Hands-on Culinary seminar at last year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival

Festival beneficiaries are the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchen” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School. The third annual event is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc.

For tickets, visit www.BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. For accommodations, book with the hotel at 808-885-2000 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

Public Invited to Discussion on Water System Plans for Upper Puna

The Department of Water Supply Manager-Chief Engineer, Quirino Antonio, Jr. together with his Engineering Staff will present the water system plans for upper Puna at the next meeting of the Mountain View Village Planning Committee.

Quirino Antonio, Jr

Quirino Antonio, Jr

Please join us on May 8, 2014, 6:00 p.m., in the Cafeteria of the Mountain View Elementary School. Everyone is invited to attend.

 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Announces Flight Plans

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park announces the following upcoming flight plans:

  • April 28, May 12, and May 26, between 8 a.m. and noon, to transport fencing material from the summit of Kīlauea to an area near the top of Mauna Loa Road.
  • April 29, morning flight to Kahuku for wildlife management.
  • May 16: flying camp supplies and equipment from end of Chain of Craters Road to ‘Āpua Point, Keauhou, and Halapē campsites for annual monitoring of hawksbill turtle nesting season.

HVNP

The park regrets any noise impact to residents and park visitors. Dates and times are subject to change based on aircraft availability and weather.

Management of the park requires the use of aircraft to monitor and research volcanic activity, conduct search-and-rescue missions and law enforcement operations, support management of natural and cultural resources, and to maintain backcountry facilities.

Hawaii Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida Resigning From County of Hawaii

In an email memo sent to Hawaii County Employees today, Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida has announced his intention to leave the County of Hawaii to join the Law Offices of Torkildson Katz Moore Hetherington & Harris as their Senior Counsel beginning May 1, 2014.

Mitch Roth and Lincoln Ashida share a table at the recent Pahoa "Rock the Vote" event.

Mitch Roth and Lincoln Ashida share a table at the Pahoa “Rock the Vote” event.

About Torkildson Katz Moore Hetherington & Harris :

Shortly after its founding in 1947, Torkildson, Katz, Moore, Hetherington & Harris quickly developed into one of Hawaii’s premier business-oriented law firms. Since that time, the firm has grown to serve our clients’ needs, not only in Hawaii, but also in Asia, the Pacific, and on the U.S. Mainland. Our firm is committed to providing the highest quality legal services while leveraging the depth of our experience and the breadth of our specialized expertise. Our firm is poised to provide top-quality legal services to Hawaii affiliated businesses. The firm maintains significant practices focused on corporate and business planning, real estate, health care, education law, labor and employment law representing management, housing and public accommodation discrimination, commercial and complex litigation, tax planning, immigration law, government relations and non profit law. The firm represents a broad base of clients ranging from large multi-national corporations, to closely-held corporations, partnerships, families, and individuals.

Here is a list of attorneys that work for that office:

Hawaii Public Radio Wins Three Edward R. Murrow Awards

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has announced its regional 2014 Edward R. Murrow Awards, and Hawaii Public Radio has won in three categories. The entire newsroom won for “Best News Series” for “Feeding Ourselves: Hawaii ’s Food Future,” which included contributions from reporters on Oahu , Hawaii Island and Molokai . Reporter Molly Solomon won for “Best Breaking News” for her coverage of the molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor . Solomon also won in the “Feature Reporting” category for her piece “ Hawaii ’s Brain Drain,” done as part of the HPR News series “Neighbors.”

Regional Winners

“We are honored to receive recognition in this prestigious competition,” said HPR News Director Bill Dorman. “The work of our local news team is part of what is made possible by the generous support of our station members.” HPR CEO and General Manager Michael Titterton added “The commitment to quality journalism is an important and continuing piece of what we are at Hawaii Public Radio, and this recognition of the team’s accomplishments is gratifying.”

The RTDNA website says “the awards recognize the best electronic journalism produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world.” The organization also noted that there were a record number of entries for this year’s awards, “in what proved to be one of the most competitive Edward R. Murrow Awards seasons in RTDNA history.” They are named for the broadcast news pioneer and longtime CBS news correspondent, legendary for both his radio and television coverage.   “The Murrow Awards honor journalism at its finest,” added Mike Cavender, Executive Director of RTDNA. “Local newsrooms serve their communities 365 days a year, and we’re proud to recognize the great work they do.”

All regional winners automatically advance to the national Edward R. Murrow Awards competition, which will be judged in May and presented in October.

Hawaii Public Radio can be heard throughout the state.  On Hawaii Island, HPR 1 is over the air in West Hawaii at 90.7 f.m. in Waimea at 94.7 fm, and in East Hawaii at 91.1 fm, and on Oceanic Cablevision 864.  HPR 2 is over the air in West Hawaii at 88.7 fm and at 89.7 fm, in Pahala at 91.7 fm, and on Oceanic Cablevision 865.  HPR 2 should be available over the air in East Hawaii by the end of the year.  Both stations are also online at www.hawaiipublicradio.org

Willie K Headlines “Best of the Fest” – Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i

Blues man, jazz artist, Hawaiian songwriter, slack key master, rock & roll, reggae and occasional opera singer, Hawaii’s own Willie K brings his considerable talents to the stage on Monday, May 26, 2014, for Big Island Film Festival’s “Best of the Fest” concert at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Willie Kahaiali‘i, (Willie K) has been entertaining audiences around the world since age 10; won multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards—most recently for “Warehouse Blues”–and a Grammy Award nomination.

Willie K

An eclectic and charismatic guitarist, Willie K has been called “a Hawaiian Jimi Hendrix,” by Honolulu Weekly, who also said, “he’s Gabby Pahinui, Andres Segovia and Eddie Van Halen rolled into one. Willie can mimic seemingly any style, moving easily between screaming Stratocaster, sweet slack key and jazzy, almost baroque, acoustic 12-string.”

In 2011, Willie K appeared on screen at BIFF in “Get a Job,” the outrageously funny comedy written and directed by Brian Kohne.

Willie K and Eric Gilliom

The Maui-created film boasted an all-star lineup of top Hawai‘i entertainers that also included Eric Gilliom, Augie T, Jake Shimabukuro, Carolyn Omine, Slam Poet Kealoha, Ernie Cruz, Jr., Amy Hanaiali‘i, Mick Fleetwood, Pat Simmons, the late Charles Ka‘upu, Willie Nelson, and Henry Kapono.

An entertainer with a generous heart, Willie K finds numerous ways to give back to the community. His annual Celebrity Golf Tournament for the Maui Memorial Medical Center’s Oncology Department is now in its eleventh year; and he is Hawai‘i spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation. And, he can add Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center to his credit, as “Best of the Fest” includes a silent auction benefit for this important resource for military families.”

Tickets for “Best of the Fest” with Willie K can be purchased online at www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com. Admission is $40 at the door ($30 kama‘āina) and $35 in advance ($25 kama‘āina), $10 keiki 7-12. Some chairs will be available as will no-host bar, gourmet pupus and other movie snacks (no coolers please).

Best of the Fest includes:

  • Silent Auction to benefit Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center, 5-7 p.m.
  • Willie K in Concert, 5-7 p.m.
  • Audience-voted Best Feature and Best Short Films of BIFF 2013, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Best of the Fest is also a fundraiser for Hawai‘i Island Food Basket.

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 22-26, with celebrity guests Jackson Rathbone (the “Twilight” series) and Portia Doubleday (“Carrie,” “Youth in Revolt”). Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP grant. Admission to films is free for active-duty military service members with I.D. For complete schedule information and tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call (808) 883-0394.

Relay For Life of Waimea Announces New Daytime Hours

The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Waimea is holding an official kickoff this week for its 11th annual event on Saturday, October 25th with new daytime hours of 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., instead of overnight from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

Relay for Life Waimea

This week’s kickoff will take place this Saturday, April 26th at the Parker School Farmer’s Market from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and in front of KTA in Waimea from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Community members can stop by the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life booth at either location to learn about the event’s new daytime hours and sign up teams to walk.

For the last ten years, Relay For Life of Waimea was held overnight from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., however, this year’s event will be held at Waimea Park at 65-1260 Kawaihae Road during the day from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. encouraging more families and school-age children to participate. Individuals and teams camp out at the park, with the goal of keeping at least one team member walking around a track in the park at all times. “This event brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, faith-based groups . . . people from all walks of life – aimed to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost and fight back against the disease,” says Bernie Kainoa, Event Board Chair and founder of American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Waimea.

Continue reading