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Forest Restoration in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

On Friday, May 16, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Friends of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park hosts a volunteer Forest Restoration project.

Removing Non-Native Invasive Species by Carol Johnson

Removing Non-Native Invasive Species by Carol Johnson

This month we will be removing invasive, non-native faya plants in an area of cindery soil. Most of the faya will be ones that have grown since we worked in the area two years ago. Many faya will be seedlings that pull easily; a few are maturing trees that we will cut with handsaws. This is a wonderful ‘ohi’a forest with a nice variety of native under-story plants. We’ll also learn about the park’s native forest restoration and invasive plant control programs.

Volunteers should be at least 12 years old, and be able to hike at least one mile over uneven terrain through brush in an area with a moderate slope. Sturdy walking shoes and long pants are required, along with gear for variable weather conditions (be prepared for sun or rain with a hat, raincoat, sunscreen, etc.) plus drinking water and a snack.

In addition, imperative is scrubbing the soles of one’s shoes prior to arrival on site, in order to ensure outside dirt and invasive species seeds aren’t tracked in.

Our goal is a crew of 16 people, and pre-registration is required. All participants will need to sign a Friends release form and a park volunteer form. For those under 18, an adult will need to co-sign.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Patty Kupchak at forest@fhvnp.org or call (808) 985-7373 by Monday evening, May 12. Please include your first and last name, email address, and a phone number where we can reach you at the last minute in case of cancellation.

Riot at Hilo High School Leads to Students Being Arrested

HPDBadgeI was viewing tweets today and all of a sudden I came across something that concerned me.  I posted the following on Facebook tonight:

The cops arrested someone outside the Pahoa May Day Assembly today… and now I read the following happened at Hilo High:

“there was a massive riot at my school. like kids were hitting cops & all”…

“…yeah, it was crazy. a girl got falsed by a boy & all”

KITV confirmed what I heard about the Hilo riot.  I myself saw the person getting arrested outside of Pahoa High School.

Here is what KITV reported:

A fight today at Hilo High School resulted in several students being arrested… that’s according to Hilo police.
We’re told the brawl broke out in the afternoon, and one student described it as a “massive riot” with kids hitting cops.
A state Education official says the fight involved some 20 to 30 students… and happened just as school let out for the day at 1:20 p.m.
No major injuries were reported and school is scheduled to resume on Monday.
However the principal is requesting support from police.

UH Hilo Faculty Honored by Hawaiʻi Book Publishers Association

Three faculty members from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo were honored at the 2014 Ka Palapala Poʻokela Awards held recently at the East-West Center in Honolulu and presented by the Hawaiʻi Book Publishers Association (HBPA). The competition included 48 entries from 37 separate book projects representing a spectrum of local publishers who were nominated in 10 categories.

UH Hilo Moniker
Hawaiʻi: A Novel, by Mark Panek, professor of English, won the Award of Excellence for Excellence in Literature. Kerri Inglis, chair and associate professor in History, earned honorable mention for Excellence in Hawaiian Language, Culture, and History for her book Mai Lepera. Alohalani Housman, associate professor, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language, won honorable mention for Excellence in Illustrative or Photographic Books for Ke Ao Nani: He Puke Huaʻōlelo 1000.

The event marked the 21st year for the awards, which recognize the finest books published in Hawaiʻi during the previous year and honor the individuals and companies involved in their creation.

Big Island Chocolate Festival Begins – Supports Two Non-Profit Organizations

The Big Island Chocolate Festival has officially started at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i.
Big Island Chocolate FestivalThe event is supporting two non-profit organizations with proceeds from the silent auction this year. Both organizations, “Equip the Kitchens” campaign and Kona Pacific Public Charter School are building campus improvements that will be beneficial to the Kona community for years to come!

The Campaign Purpose:The American Culinary Federation is very pleased with progress on the long awaited Hawaii Community College – Palamanui, opening in 2014. The ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Association members are industry leaders committed to culinary development and education within the membership and throughout the community. This group of food service professionals, vendors and growers comprises one of the most active chapters in the American Culinary Federation. It is their earnest desire to support the new culi-nary campus by helping to secure funds for the kitchens.

  • There will be two 1200 square foot kitchens
  • 800 square foot baking kitchen.
  • 800 sq. ft. preparation and butcher kitchen
  • The facilities will enable 65 students per semester to work toward their AAS degree in Culinary Arts. This program pre-pares students to enter the hospitality industry, including world-class restaurants.

The Campaign Goal:
A $1,000,000 goal of capital funds is being sought to equip the kitchens. The campaign is anticipated to be completed with all cash and pledges received by the end of 2014.

The Culinary Arts Program at the Hawaii Community College – West Hawaii Center is currently located in a small shopping center in Kealakekua with limited space and facilities. The ar-eas of concentration are Certificate and Degree Programs, Ad-vanced Culinary and Hospitality Training Programs. The Culinary Arts Program is fully accredited by the American Culinary Federation. It also provides direct industry placement and the development of qualified committed professionals ready to be successful leaders in the culinary field.

The Campaign Timeline:
The Culinary Arts Program plans to move into the Palamanui facility in the fall of 2014. “The Board of Regents University of Hawaii is very grateful for the commitment and support of the Kona Kohala Chef’s Association in raising funds to support the new culinary facility at the Palamanui campus.”

If you want to learn more about what the Culinary students are doing, follow them on Facebook at West Hawaii Culinary.

KPPCS logo

Kona Pacific Public Charter School

Kona Pacific is a school that is growing. Situated on 40 acres of land above the Kona Community Hospital, it resides in the middle of South Kona, an area that does not have a public community amphitheater, although there are dozens of artists and musicians in Kona who could bring live music to this space if it were built. The money the Chocolate Festival raises will go to a capital campaign to build this structure so the students at the school would have access to it during school time and the public would have access it to at nights and weekends. Still in the planning phases, we are raising funds to get this project off the ground to create a space for our vibrant island musicians and performing artists to have a space to showcase their talent and have the students have a space to create their own performances, as well!

KKPCS Upper Lawn

Kona Pacific Public Charter School’s curriculum offers a holistic, hands-on, project-based education inspired by Waldorf education, promoting student achievement in language arts, math, science, visual arts, foreign languages, musical training and movement.

Demo Day – New Business Showcase at Imiloa Astronomy Center

Support Hawaii Island’s Startup Community

Join us on Saturday, May 10th at 1:00pm in the Moanahoku Hall of the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center for the first ever Hawaii Island Demo Day event.

Register Today

About the Event

The 2014 Demo Day New Business Showcase highlights some of Hawaii Island’s newest and most innovative companies. Meet the founders and learn about Hawaii Island’s growing community of Entrepreneurs. The event will begin at 1:00pm with a brief meet and greet followed by opening remarks. Hear from community thought leaders on our island’s economic development and the role new business development plays. Afterwards, our entrepreneurs will take the stage and present their businesses. We’ll wrap up the afternoon with snacks and socialization.

The Hawaii Tech Exchange, HITX, promotes the economic development of Hawaii Island through educational workshops and events to foster entrepreneurship. It brings together talented individuals and innovative businesses in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) community. HITX operates a membership directory for area businesses, students, entrepreneurs and individuals. It also hosts related special interest group meetings on topics such as software, design, writing, robotics, game development, app development and astronomy.

Hawaii TechWorks assists in the development of Hawaii-based high growth and high impact businesses. It helps entrepreneurs convert great ideas into successful businesses. Hawaii TechWorks operates a co-working space and hosts a monthly tech meeting that supports entrepreneurs in Hilo and the surrounding community. It helps companies succeed by providing technical assistance, business infrastructure and networking opportunities. Hawaii TechWorks is focused on fostering the emergence of a next generation of leaders, in facilitating the development of strong community ties through informal networking and relationship-building, in new job opportunities for local residents, and in community-based economic development.

Our Sponsors

HTDC High Technology Development Corporation
HI Growth InitiativeHigh Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) is a state agency established by the Hawaii State Legislature in 1983 to facilitate the development and growth of Hawaii’s commercial high technology industry. The State views high technology as an important driver in the diversification of Hawaii’s economy and one that provides quality, high-paying jobs for Hawaii residents.


The HI Growth Initiative is a State investment program focused on building an innovation ecosystem that supports entrepreneurial high growth businesses and creates high wage jobs for our people. The HI Growth Initiative provides $20 million of investment capital that will focus on the critical building blocks of an innovation ecosystem: entrepreneur development, research commercialization and the mobilization of startup investment capital.

Our Host

Nalukai Foundation

Nalukai Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 2012 to support entrepreneurs and innovation in Hawaii. It provides mentoring services to entrepreneurs, helps connect founders and investors, and organizes community events. Nalukai’s mentors have years of experience advising startup founders and have mentored in some of the top accelerators in the country.

Get Involved!

Attend Be part of a growing community and learn about new businesses on Hawaii Island and the rest of the state. Register for Demo Day today.

Participate Gain recognition for your new business. Meet potential partners, supporters and investors. Demo Day is open to qualified Hawaii businesses. If you would like to present your business, please contact us at: demo@hitx.co

Sponsor Help our local economy grow by supporting events like this. We have a variety of sponsorship opportunities. If you are interested in sponsoring this or other events, please contact us at: sponsors@hitx.co

Governor Abercrombie Signs Bill Making Kindergarten Mandatory for All 5 Year Olds

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed Senate Bill 2768 (Act 76), a measure that makes kindergarten mandatory for children who will be at least 5 years of age on or before July 31 of the school year, unless otherwise exempt.

SB2768 Signing Ceremony

SB2768 Signing Ceremony

“Mandatory kindergarten builds on this administration’s early childhood education initiative by providing continuity in a child’s learning experience,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “This legislation assists in implementation of Common Core State Standards designed for kindergarten to grade 12, and places our students on the path to success in today’s global marketplace.”

“This bill aligns with the Department of Education goals and supports our young children so they may be successful learners,” stated Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

“Now that Hawaii has finally joined the vast majority of states that have a state-funded prekindergarten, it is critical that kindergarten be seen as the logical and required next step,” said state Executive Office on Early Learning Director GG Weisenfeld. “With the rigors of the Common Core State Standards that are in place starting in kindergarten, we have to ensure our children get off to a good start, and this will really help every child to be successful.”

State Senate Education Committee Chair Sen. Jill Tokuda said, “High-quality kindergarten establishes a firm foundation for a child’s educational future, helping to ensure growth and success as they move forward. Establishing mandatory kindergarten is an important part of creating our early learning system, especially as we call upon students to develop deeper levels of understanding through the Common Core.”

“There is no greater core function of government than providing our children the opportunity to succeed in life through public education,” House Education Committee Chair Rep. Roy Takumi said. “Mandatory kindergarten is a key part of this effort and a timely one at that. Until now, there has not been a need to require all families to enroll their children in kindergarten. But as we establish the first foundations of Hawaii’s early learning system, we need this important support to bridge the way for our children to succeed from prekindergarten throughout their school careers.”

Act 76 will take effect by the upcoming 2014-2015 school year. It amends the Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 302A-411 and 302A-1132, which lists exemptions from mandatory attendance.

Nine Hawaiʻi Island Students Awarded Dorrance Scholarships

Nine Hawaiʻi Island students who will begin their studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo in fall 2014 have been awarded Dorrance Scholarships.
UH Hilo Moniker
The Dorrance Scholarship is an innovative, four-year award designed to benefit local students who are the first in their family to attend college. Each year, the program awards up to 10 students need-based scholarships of $8,000 per year to attend UH Hilo. The 2014 recipients include:

• Kapuanani Arsiga, Christian Liberty Academy
• Kawena Case, Kealakehe High School
• Tifaine Crivello, Hilo High School
• Kamrie Koi, Ka`u High School
• Melissa Mizuguchi, Waiakea High School
• Kodie Solis-Kalani, Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi
• Kalena Spinola, Kealakehe High School
• Tara West, Hilo High School
• Turfa Zaman, Kealakehe High School

This year’s awardees are the third cohort to receive the prestigious scholarship. Prior to the start of fall classes, the students will take part in a custom-designed summer bridge program to help them transition from high school. They will also participate in international travel and employment preparation in subsequent summers, bringing the total estimated value of each award for the entire four-year period to more than $60,000.

“The Dorrance family has become a valuable partner in UH Hilo’s effort to help more students shatter that proverbial ‘glass ceiling’ by becoming the first member of their family to obtain a college education,” said Chancellor Donald Straney. “Their gift to the past, present and future cohorts will have a profound impact on the lives of those students.”

UH Hilo’s program is an extension of the highly successful Dorrance Scholarship Programs that have operated in Arizona for the past 14 years. The program is credited with opening the doors of higher education while boosting graduation rates for more than 600 first-generation college students.

For more information about the Dorrance Scholarship Programs, contact Maria Martin at (808) 557- 6268 or email mmartin@azfoundation.org.

Big Island Man Dies From Injuries Sustained in Crash on Route 19

UPDATE: The man who died Thursday (May 1) from injuries he sustained in a two-vehicle crash on Route 19 in Pepeʻekeo has been identified as 54-year-old Colin Y. Ishii of Pepeʻekeo.

A 54-year-old Pepeʻekeo man died Thursday (May 1) from injuries he sustained in a two-vehicle crash on Route 19 in the area of the 9-mile-marker in Pepeʻekeo.
HPDBadgeResponding to a 1:54 p.m. call, South Hilo patrol officers determined that the 54-year-old man was operating a 1998 Toyota four-door sedan and traveling north on Route 19 when he crossed the centerline and sideswiped a 2013 Ford flatbed truck traveling south that was being operated by a 29-year-old Nāʻālehu man.

The driver of the Ford was not injured.

Fire Department rescue personnel took an 82-year-old woman, who was a passenger in the Toyota, to Hilo Medical Center. She did not receive any significant injuries but was being confined overnight as a precaution.

All occupants were wearing their seat belts.

The 54-year-old man was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:24 p.m.

It does not appear at this time that speed, alcohol or drugs were involved.

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

The name of the victim is being withheld pending positive identification.

Police ask anyone with information about this crash to call Officer Keith Nacis at 961-8119.

This is the 5th traffic fatality on the Hawaiʻi Island this year compared with 12 at the same time last year.

Big Island Police Searching for 18-Year-Old Hilo Man Reported Missing

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for an 18-year-old Hilo man who was reported missing.

Sterling Shackley

Sterling Shackley

Sterling Shackley was last seen in Hilo at 5 a.m. Thursday (May 1). He has a medical condition that requires medication, and his family is concerned for his safety.

He is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-6, 160 pounds with brown hair, brown eyes and a tattoo of a shark on his left shoulder.

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 the islandwide Crime Stoppers number 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.

19th Annual Keiki Surf For The Earth Competition

BodyGlove Hawaii is a proud sponsor of the 19th Annual Keiki Surf for Earth competition coming up on Saturday May 17th at Kohanaiki:
Keiki Surf for the Earth

Statement From Piiholo Zipline Company Regarding Today’s Death

Statement from Piiholo Zipline company regarding the death that happened at the zipline company today:
Piiholo Ranch Zipline

The Piiholo Zipline Ohana expresses its condolences and sympathy to those involved in today’s tragic event. We especially offer our deepest aloha and prayers to the family and friends of our co-worker Patricia “Trish” Rabellizsa at this difficult time. We are working in full cooperation with the Maui Police Department’s ongoing investigation.

14 Graduates Honored at the 55th Drug Court Graduation

The Hawaii State Supreme Courtroom was packed with friends, family and supporters as 14 individuals were recognized today by First Circuit Drug Court Judge Steven Alm for successfully completing the Hawaii Drug Court program.

 Pictured above are 14 Drug Court graduates along with First Circuit Drug Court Judge Steven Alm, Drug Court Administrator Janice Bennett and Drug Court Counselor Elvira Ajanovic.

Pictured above are 14 Drug Court graduates along with First Circuit Drug Court Judge Steven Alm, Drug Court Administrator Janice Bennett and Drug Court Counselor Elvira Ajanovic.

Judge Alm congratulated the graduates and said, “Right now, we have 210 people in the Hawaii Drug Court. Many of you may have been headed to prison, but you chose to take the road to recovery and turn your life around. You have a lot to be proud of.”

Before each graduate was called up to receive his or her certificate, Drug Court Administrator Janice Bennett offered some perspective on each individual’s journey. Here is the story she read about graduate Vernon Schmidt: “Vernon entered the program on November 13, 2012. At the time of his admission, he was 50 years old and had been using drugs and alcohol since he was 15 years old. He said he was homeless, separated from his family and just felt broken.”

“Vernon’s commitment to his recovery is evident because he is graduating without a single program violation. That means never late for an appointment or group session and never missing or failing a drug test. Vernon now has a closer relationship with his family, works full-time in the Laborer’s Union, and is a responsible member of the community,” Bennett continued.

Vernon Schmidt is pictured above receiving a lei from Drug Court Counselor Elvira Ajanovic at this afternoon’s graduation ceremony.

Vernon Schmidt is pictured above receiving a lei from Drug Court Counselor Elvira Ajanovic at this afternoon’s graduation ceremony.

“Thank you to Judge Alm for giving me the privilege to not only be responsible, but to be held accountable,” said Drug Court graduate Vernon Schmidt. “We are all modern day miracles,” Schmidt said to his fellow graduates. “The miracle happened in our very lives,” he added.

Offenders in the drug court program have immediate access to a court-based intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment program which also provides intensive case management and probation supervision. Program services include frequent and random drug and alcohol testing, employment and housing assistance, random home visits, strict curfew monitoring, mental health evaluation and treatment, and most importantly, frequent review hearings before the drug court judge.

“Thank you to Judge Alm for giving me the privilege to not only be responsible, but to be held accountable,” said Drug Court graduate Vernon Schmidt. “We are all modern day miracles,” Schmidt said to his fellow graduates. “The miracle happened in our very lives,” he added.

Offenders in the drug court program have immediate access to a court-based intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment program which also provides intensive case management and probation supervision. Program services include frequent and random drug and alcohol testing, employment and housing assistance, random home visits, strict curfew monitoring, mental health evaluation and treatment, and most importantly, frequent review hearings before the drug court judge.

Since it was established in 1995, the program has admitted 1,272 offenders. 210 offenders are currently participating and 785 have successfully graduated, with an overall completion rate of 79%.

Buy Local – Enter Contest at Ka’u Coffee Fest

Focusing on the local products, resources and people of the majestic district of Ka‘u, the sixth annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival is May 2-11. Taste, see and enjoy Ka‘u crops—and meet the hard-working people who grow them—during numerous activities at several venues over the 10-day festival.

coffee fest

Enter the “Buy Local, It Matters” contest for a chance to win! Simply bring a receipt, product label or business card from one of the event’s local sponsors. Details at www.kaucoffeefestival.com.

The new Pa‘ina Open House kicks off the fun May 2, followed by Taste Success: the 4th Ka‘u Farmers Table at Kalaekilohana Inn and Retreat May 3. Ka’u Coffee Mill is the location of activities May 4 with The Triple C Recipe Contest—starring Ka‘u coffee in cookies, crackers and cakes—and the Miss Ka’u Coffee Pageant.

Explore the agricultural district’s plans for hydroelectric power on the Ka‘u Mountain Water System Hike May 7. Coffee & Cattle Day offers a tour through a working ranch with a buffet lunch and Ka‘u Star Gazing are May 9.

Festival fun culminates 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 10 at the free Pahala Community Center. On Saturday, enjoy the Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a, with a full day of Hawaiian performing arts, broke ‘da mouth local food, crafts, product and informational booths and guided coffee tastings. Coffee farm tours, with van transport, are $20.

Ho‘olaule‘a performers include Bolo, Keoki & the ‘Ukulele Kids, Demetrius Olivera and Keaiwa, Hands of Time, Moses & Eunice, Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu of Volcano with Kumu Hula Ab Kawainohoikala‘i Valencia, plus Halau Hula O Leionalani with Kumu Debbie Ryder.

coffee fest

On Sunday, May 11, the Ka‘u Coffee College offers seminars by leaders in the specialty coffee industry: Mark Inman, a seed-to-cup sustainability pioneer and Blake Hanacek, a proponent of sustainable rural development and agribusiness management.  Also appearing is Robert Curtiss, plant pest control manager with the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture. Admission is free, donations appreciated.

All activities are open to the public; for details on ticketed events and full festival info, visit www.KauCoffeeFest.com.

Hulihe’e Event Rembembers King Kamehameha IV

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and Calabsh Cousins present Afternoon at Hulihe‘e 4 p.m. Sunday, May 18 at Hulihe‘e Palace to remember the late King Kamehameha IV. Enjoy the voices of the Merrie Monarchs and performing arts by Kumu Hula Etua Lopes and his Halau Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i.

Kamehameha IV, King of Hawaii, 1834-1863. Hawaii State Archives

Kamehameha IV, King of Hawaii, 1834-1863. Hawaii State Archives

Afternoon at Hulihe‘e is part of the palace’s series of free monthly concerts that honor Hawai‘i’s past monarchs and historical figures; donations are appreciated. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

King Kamehameha IV (Alexander Liholiho) was 21 when he inherited the throne in 1855. He agonized over the dwindling native population that was reduced from 300,000 in 1778 to 70,000 in 1855. “Hawaiians had no resistance to the diseases of foreigners and over 6,000 caught smallpox brought to the islands in 1853,” says Casey Ballao, docent coordinator. “The king and his Queen Emma pushed for the building of a hospital so Hawaiians could get adequate medical care.”

Brought up by a physician, Emma shared her husband’s values on health. Liholiho married Emma Naea Rooke in 1856. She was the granddaughter of John Young, Kamehameha’s British advisor. As was the custom for children in Hawai‘i to be given to relatives for upbringing, Emma was the hanai (adopted) daughter of Dr. T. C. Rooke, an English physician practicing in Honolulu, and Emma’s aunt.

“Besides providing funds, the royal couple earnestly solicited donations from others,” explains Ballao. “In 1860, Kamehameha IV laid the cornerstone for the Queen’s Hospital, which he named to honor his wife.” Today, it is the prestigious Queen’s Medical Center in downtown Honolulu.

The king died when he was 29, a short time after his four-year-old Prince Albert became fatally ill.  A crib used by the prince, during a visit to Kona, is on display at Hulihe‘e.

“Queen Emma became a candidate to the throne but lost a heavily contested election to Prince David Kalakaua,” says Ballao “Queen Emma died at the age of 49.”

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for docent-guided and self-guided tours. Museum hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday—with the exception of the palace open 1-4 p.m. the Monday following the monthly Kokua Kailua Village stroll.  Palace admission for a self-guided tour is $8 for adults, $6 for kama‘aina, military and seniors, and $1 for keiki 18 years and under. Docent-guided tours are available upon request. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop, open 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays- Saturdays, can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins. The Daughters was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

​Disenfranchised UH Hilo Students Respond ​to Nullifying Elections

Aloha UH Hilo,

We have just received notice from the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs office and the UH Hilo Student Association (UHHSA) Election Committee that the recent UH Hilo student election was nullified. We have also learned that a new electronic election has been implemented for May 6 and 7th.

It is unfortunate that it has to come to this. Many students put in a lot of work legitimately campaigning and running for office only to have the election nullified by an elections committee acting unethically being advised to discriminate by Campus Center Director Ellen Kusano. The, at least, 7 disqualified student candidates have had their name dragged in the mud by the elections committee, and have yet to receive a response to their alleged offense. This is unacceptable behavior at UH Hilo and any institution of higher learning and we would like to file an ethics complaint against UHHSA adviser Ellen Kusano. We would also like our ‘Open questions for UH Hilo’ answered (see www.uhhilowithaloha.com).

We ask the office of Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs to assist in making the new election fair and transparent. From our previous complaints (see website) we maintain that we have no confidence in the UHHSA election committee or in UHHSA faculty adviser Ellen Kusano who appear to be, once again, governing the UH Hilo student election.

We make the following requests to the UH Hilo office of Student Affairs and UH Hilo as a whole:

  1. we call for the new electronic election process to be 100% transparent and untamperable,
  2. we call for the current UHHSA election committee to not be involved with the new election process,
  3. we call for the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs office to take over the duty of the election with ample oversight,
  4. we request that Campus Center Director Ellen Kusano not be involved with the election process,
  5. we call for a date to be set for when the new UHHSA is to take office,
  6. we call for equal access of all elected UHHSA members to the UHHSA office once in office,
  7. we call for autonomy from campus center once in office,
  8. we call for the opportunity to select a new adviser upon taking office,
  9. we call for the option to move the UHHSA office away from Campus Center,
  10. we call for an UHHSA executive senator to be established upon taking office,
  11. we call for fair and equal access for all UHHSA members to the rights and privileges of UHHSA,
  12. we call for a summer schedule to be established upon taking office (who’s present for the summer, who’s not),
  13. we call for the new UHHSA to establish quorum,
  14. we call for a fair and transparent process regarding campus room reservations,
  15. we call for authority, oversight and handling of the UHHSA budget to be governed solely by UHHSA,
  16. we call for a fair and reasonable timetables and deadlines to submit UHHSA related paperwork,
  17. we call for the opportunity to hire a professional student government adviser,
  18. we call for the opportunity to hire a professional financial clerk,
  19. we call for a definitive date an UHHSA member can expect to have his/her stipend checks for the summer, fall, and spring semester,
  20. we call for a non-hostile institutional environment for the new incoming UHHSA,
  21. we call for more administrative oversight of campus center,
  22. we call for more administrative attention to complaints made by UHHSA

Respectfully submitted,

Disqualified UH Hilo Student Candidates:

These students have filed an ethics complaint against the UH Hilo Election Committee.

These students have filed an ethics complaint against the UH Hilo Election Committee.

Glenn Aanstoos          Ryu Kakazu
Josh Boranian             Chantelle Mashreghy
Jarod Campbell           Ardena Saarinen


Finalists for UH President Announced

The Board of Regents announced two finalists for the UH System president position—UH Interim President David Lassner and Retired Lt. General Francis Wiercinski.

From left, David Lassner and Francis Wiercinski

From left, David Lassner and Francis Wiercinski

Board of Regents Chair John C. Holzman says students and faculty will get to hear from the candidates and provide feedback before the end of the academic year.

Video of announcement and news conference to come.

Big Island Police Investigating Armed Robbery at Convenience Store in Kona

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an armed robbery at a convenience store in Kailua-Kona this past weekend.
HPDBadgeAt 3 a.m. Sunday (April 27) Kona Patrol officers responded to a report that a “hold-up alarm” had been activated at a convenience store on Kuakini Highway near the intersection with Kalani Street.

They determined that two men had entered the store. One pointed a handgun at the female clerk and demanded money. The other went behind the counter and removed numerous boxes of cigarettes and lighters. They left with the boxes and an undisclosed amount of cash and fled on foot in an unknown direction.

Both men were described as being between 18 and 20 years old with their faces covered.

The first was described as between 5-foot-6 and 6-feet tall and 160 to 180 pounds. He was wearing black shoes with red laces, shorts that were black, red, yellow and green, and a red hooded jacket with gold embroidery on the lower rear portion, the right side of the hood and the right breast.

The second man was described as between 5-feet tall and 5-foot-6 and 150 to 180 pounds. He was wearing a black skull cap beanie, a black long-sleeved shirt, light shorts, dark shoes and was carrying a black backpack.

Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section are continuing the investigation. Police ask anyone with information about the identity of the suspects or anyone with any other information about this case to contact Detective Sandor Finkey at 326-4646, extension 281, or sfinkey@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number 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.

Senator Josh Green Announces Over $60 Million for West Hawai’i

Sen. Josh Green

Sen. Josh Green

Aloha Friends,

I am pleased to report that this year the State Legislature has approved over $60 million for West Hawai’i to improve our region’s transportation, education, healthcare, and justice systems.

These important new investments in our community’s roads, schools, and hospitals will continue to create jobs, stimulate our economy, and build our community for years to come.

I am particularly pleased to report that the Legislature has designated $35 million for the Kona Judiciary Complex, a facility which represents a major state investment in the development of West Hawai’i and will house 230 full-time employees when it is completed. In 2011, the Legislature appropriated $12 million for land acquisition and design of the complex, and this year the Legislature approved $35 million with the intention of approving an additional $55 million to complete construction in the coming years.

This year the Legislature has also approved an additional $2.4 million to complete the construction of phase I of the new West Hawai’i Community College Campus at Palamanui, bringing the state investment in the new campus to $14.9 million in addition to private investment of close to $20 million. This new campus will give our young people the option of pursuing higher education in West Hawai’i, and will serve as an educational resource for our entire community.

In addition, the Legislature has renewed the Hospital Sustainability Act, which will this year bring than $62 million in federal money to help strengthen and support hospitals in Hawai’i, including millions of dollars for Kona Community Hospital and North Hawai’i Community Hospital on the Big Island.

Projects approved for West Hawai’i during the 2014 legislative session include:

  • Kona Judiciary Complex -$35 million for design and construction of the new Kona Judiciary Complex, a planned 142,00 square-foot facility on a 10-acre parcel across from the West Hawai`i Civic Center in Kona
  • Kona Community Hospital – $5 million for renovations and upgrades to Kona Community Hospital, including $2 million for elevator replacement, $2 million for electrical upgrades, and $1 million for asbestos abatement
  • Kona International Airport – $3.4 million for airport improvements including $1.9 million for design for improvements to the south ramp taxiway and ramp and other related improvements, and $1.5 million for design and construction of an international arrivals building
  • Ka`u Irrigation System – $2.5 million for design and construction of improvements to the irrigation system including ground and site improvements, equipment and appurtenances
  • NELHA – $2.5 million for plans, design, and construction to complete the exploration phase for potable water, to include well siting studies, field investigations, environmental assessment, permitting, plans and specifications for the exploratory well
  • West Hawai’i Community College at Palamanui – $2.4 million for design and construction of the completion of Phase I of the new West Hawai’i Community College Campus at Palamanui
  • Saddle Road Extension – $2 million for design of a new roadway and/or realignment and extending the Saddle Road from the Hilo terminus to the Queen Kaahumanu Highway
  • West Hawai’i Veterans Cemetery – $1.6 million for plans, design, and construction of a non-potable water well including pumps, piping and appurtenances, water tank, and power generation system for West Hawai`i Veterans Cemetery
  • Public High School Improvements – $1.1 million for improvements to Public High Schools including $550,000 for Ka`u High School for construction to provide improvements for the current locker room and gym restoration, $300,000 for Kealakehe High School for design of upgrades to an all-weather and synthetic track, and $250,000 for Konawaena High School for design and equipment for the installation of a new lighting system for the gymnasium, ground and site improvements, equipment, and appurtenances
  • West Hawai’i Community Health Center – $1 million for construction of the West Hawai`i Community Health Center in Kona
  • Lai Opua 2020 – $950,000 for construction and improvements for the parking lot and road
  • Hawai’i Ocean View Estates Water Resources  – $725,000 for plans and design for the expansion of water resources
  • Kona Historical Society – $200,000 to provide project funding to develop educational programs, increase staffing and volunteer recruitment and training, improve cultural and historic sites, and maintain grounds and facilities
  • Hawai’i Island Humane Society – $200,000 for plans, design, construction and equipment for the Hawai`i Island Animal Community Center, Phase I
  • Project Vision Hawai’i – $79,214 to expand Big Island health screening services for the poor and disabled

As your State Senator, I will continue to work hard every day to improve our transportation, education, healthcare, and justice systems and make our roads, schools, and hospitals in West Hawai’i the best that they can be.

Let’s keep working together to achieve even greater results in the coming years, and to make West Hawai’i and our entire state an even better place to live.


Josh Green
State Senator
District 3, West Hawai’i

Wordless Wednesday – I Dont Sell Tomatoe

I dont sell tomatoe!






Governor Abercrombie Signs Bill Authorizing Industrial Hemp Research Program

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed Senate Bill 2175 (Act 56), a measure that allows the University of Hawaii (UH) College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) to establish a two-year industrial hemp remediation and biofuel crop research program.

Governor Abercrombie Signs Bill Authorizing Industrial Hemp Research Program

Governor Abercrombie Signs Bill Authorizing Industrial Hemp Research Program

Act 56 authorizes the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp in accordance with requirements established by the federal Agriculture Act of 2014, which allows higher education institutions and state departments of agriculture to conduct industrial hemp research.

“Hawaii’s environment and economy will benefit from this research,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “Industrial hemp can be used to decontaminate soil and increase the state’s production of biodiesel, therefore reducing our dependency on imported fuel.”

Act 56, which takes effect July 1, requires the state Department of Agriculture to certify the industrial hemp seed stock and verify that plants grown are not marijuana. The program will be limited to one test site. It also states that the dean of the UH CTAHR must submit a final report, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature prior to start of the 2016 legislative session.