Idea Improv – Bring Your Own Questions

Got questions about running a business, recording an album or publishing a book? Then you won’t want to miss this one of a kind event. Think TEDx meets Improv. No scripted talks. No PowerPoints. Just you (the audience) asking questions (about anything) and receiving solutions and ideas (that will amaze you). Each of our speakers brings years of expertise to the stage and a willingness to share their knowledge with others. Join us for an evening that will be entertaining as well as educational.

Click to learn more

Click to learn more

If you live on the Big Island, you won’t want to miss this event.

Land Board Issues $2,500 Civil Fine for Commercial Activity Violations at Kealakekua Bay Historic Park

The Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) today authorized an civil penalty fine of $2,500 and associated administrative costs of $753 to be assessed against Alexander Aquino, of Captain Cook, for violation of State Parks Hawaii Administrative Rule chapter 13-146-68, which prohibits commercial activities in State Parks without a written permit from the board or the Division of State Parks.

Aquino was arrested on Nov. 21, 2013 within Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park during an undercover operation conducted by officers of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), and charged with soliciting for patrons to rent kayaks for use in Kealakekua Bay. Also arrested and charged for the same violation was Nathan Kolii, also of Captain Cook.

Criminal cases against both men are still pending.

Kealakekua Bay Historic Park

Kealakekua Bay Historic Park

In January 2013, the Division of State Parks implemented a moratorium on the use of all vessels within Kealakekua Bay and all landings at Kaawaloa Flat. Vehicle parking and launching of kayaks at the historic Napoopoo wharf were no longer allowed without a permit. Only the 3 previously Board-authorized commercial companies holding state parks revocable permits were allowed to continue offering guided kayak tours to Kaawaloa Flat and to launch from Napoopoo. State Park’s objective was to stop the illegal vending and renting of equipment at Napoopoo, and stop the proliferation of kayak client landings at Kaawaloa, with the accompanying environmental damage to nearshore corals and from human waste upon archaeological sites.

State Parks then began to issue special use permits for vessels such as stand-up paddleboards, sailboats, kayaks, etc. to transit the water of the bay only, but not to launch from Napoopoo or land at Kaawaloa. No one is allowed to land a vessel, or to swim from a vessel and land at Kaawaloa. Permits are free and contain a set of conditions to protect the natural resources of the park. During 2013, a total of 447 special use permits were issued, 93 authorized vessel permits, and 354 for non-commercial users.

Although Aquino held a special use permit, it is not a commercial permit allowing for solicitation of patrons within the park, which constitutes a violation of park rules and is grounds for revocation of the permit.

“This case shows that DLNR is taking enforcement action to curb a prolific business in illicit sales and services that have had detrimental impacts on the community and the park environment,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. “We have provided opportunity for a limited number of responsible commercial vendors to service a manageable number of clients going to Kaawaloa, and share in stewardship responsibility. We have also provided a simple process for ocean recreational users to obtain permits to allow them to enjoy the bay’s waters,” Aila said.

2014 Closure Schedule for Select Hawai‘i County Parks

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation wishes to announce its 2014 general-maintenance schedule for ‘Āhalanui Park, Isaac Kepo‘okalani Hale Beach Park, Kahalu‘u Beach Park and Spencer Park at ‘Ōhai‘ula Beach. These parks will be closed from one to three days most months so larger-scale maintenance work may be undertaken without putting park patrons at unnecessary risk or inconvenience.

Located in Puna, ‘Āhalanui Park will be closed from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the following dates:

Puna ClosuresLocated in Puna, Isaac Kepo‘okalani Hale Beach Park will be closed on the following dates and reopened at 1 p.m. on the day after each closure:

Pohoiki closuresLocated in North Kona, Kahalu‘u Beach Park will be closed from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the following dates:

North Kona Closures

Located in South Kohala, Spencer Park at ‘Ōhai‘ula Beach will be closed all day on the following dates:

South Kohala Closures

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks park users and the general public for their understanding and cooperation while the temporary closures are occurring.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management Announces Dean’s List

UH Hilo Moniker

The following students in the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management received Dean’s List honors for the Fall 2013 semester:

Jean Marie Acuna, Harmony Aiona, Kevin Alison, Calvin Arca, Amber Au, Whitney Boteilho, Cody Butler, Elizabeth Capron, Sarah Chard, Megan Clowe, Shannon Correia, James Darden, Noel Dickinson, Alexandra Doi, Robert Dundas, Yasha Eads, Martin Ennis, Shawntiarre Faumui, Alyssa Fujii, Sydney Gamiao, Rachel Gorenflo, Kristin Hardy, Pavel Havlicek, Terence Hedtke, Ashli Hirai, Kelly Hodson, Amy Horn, Kayuri Kadoya, Aleysia-Rae Kaha, Lukas Kambic, Cornel Kea, Anna Kimball, Tiffany Kotani, Kuilei Kramer, Jordan Lee Loy, Daisy Maher, Jordyn Mansinon, Samuel Meleisea, Jade Miyashiro, James Moore, Ron O’Brien, Wesley Piena, Hannah Reid, Jake Rodrique, Jessica Scott, Johnathan Shestokes, Michael Sthreshley, William Trammell, Kirsti Vedenoja, Lehua Wall, Noelani Waters, Shohei Yamaki, and Stephen Zilch.

UH Hilo Honors Individuals with Special Awards

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Chancellor Don Straney honored two individuals with special awards presented during UH Hilo’s Fall 2013 commencement.

Team Poliahu - Featured from left to right: Ryder Donahue, Kayton Summers, Wallace Hamada, Professor Edwards and Mike Purvis.

Team Poliahu – Featured from left to right: Ryder Donahue, Kayton Summers, Wallace Hamada, Professor Edwards and Mike Purvis.

Mike Purvis, a senior computer science major, received the inaugural Community Spirit Award, which includes a $500 cash prize. The award was established this past September by Edward Yamasaki, a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in World War II, and recognizes students who demonstrate excellence in applied research, learning and innovation in their respective fields of study. Purvis is team captain of UH Hilo’s Team Poli`ahu that won the 2013 U.S. Microsoft Imagine Cup Championship and participated in the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Team Poliahu in front of Alexandrinsky Theatre for the awards ceremony

Team Poliahu in front of Alexandrinsky Theatre for the awards ceremony

The Chancellor’s Special Recognition Award was presented to Dr. David Hammes, professor of economics, who retired at the end of the Fall 2013 semester. Hammes received the UH Board of Regent’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2003. In addition to his teaching, he has conducted a number of economic feasibility and cost-of-living studies for UH Hilo and the UH System.

Hammes also serves on the Board of Directors for Hospice of Hilo and was Treasurer during the successful fund-raising drive that led to construction of a new care facility near the University campus.

Hawaii Teachers Win Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Laura Fukumoto of Aliamanu Elementary and Dave Morishige of Mililani Mauka Elementary are the latest Hawaii public school teachers to be named recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The award is given annually to outstanding mathematics and science educators from across the country. The White House made the formal announcement last month.

The winners are chosen by a panel, which includes distinguished scientists, mathematics and educators following an initial selection process at the state level. There were 102 teachers awarded – they represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Department of Defense Education Activity. Each recipient receives a $10,000 prize award from the National Science Foundation to be used at his or her discretion. Also, a ceremony honoring the winners in Washington, D.C. is being planned for later this year.

Laura Fukumoto

Laura Fukumoto

Laura Fukumoto has spent her entire career at Aliamanu and admits that as a beginning teacher, mathematics was her weakest subject. That is until Fukumoto realized, in her words, she was “teaching arithmetic, and not mathematics.” Fukumoto focused on making math relevant through her lessons when she discovered many students, parents and even teachers disliked the subject and felt it was too abstract. She is a 5th grade math teacher who seizes the potential of each day to teach children how to think and to visualize.

“I see a genius inside each of my students, a genius that I do my very best to spark,” said Fukumoto. “When I help them through some pretty tough math, see the twinkle in their eyes, and hear their “Wow”s and the “Aha”s, I know that I chose the very best profession, one that I love and enjoy.”

After graduating from Farrington High, she went on to the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Dave Morishige

Dave Morishige

Dave Morishige has been teaching at Mililani Mauka for the last nine of the 23 years he’s been an educator. He currently teaches science to students in kindergarten through fifth grade, and also serves as the school’s science resource teacher. After taking on the resource position, Morishige says he felt a renewed interest in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. Robotic programs he initiated at the school have earned statewide acclaim.

A graduate of Moanalua High and the University of Hawaii at Manoa (bachelor’s and master’s), Morishige says he has always had a passion for math and science because he enjoys learning and discovering how things work.

“The most rewarding part of my job is to see the joy on the children’s faces as they discover new things and the appreciation they show by saying a simple ‘thank you for teaching me’,” continued Morishige.

“Laura and Dave are two of the finest examples of educators that Hawaii has to offer,” said Ronn Nozoe, deputy superintendent for the Hawaii State Department of Education. “They are true heroes in our children’s lives, nurturing the love of math and science at the elementary levels, and laying the foundation for future successes.”

Lawsuits Begin… GMO Companies Sue County of Kauai

The Honolulu Advertiser has announced that 3 companies have now filed lawsuits against Kauai Counties legislation against GMO and the restricted use of pesticides.

Syngenta, Pioneer Hi-Bred and Agrigenetics — an affiliate of Dow — have sued to block Kauai County from implementing its new genetically modified organism and pesticide regulation law.

The law, which takes effect in August, imposes greater disclosure requirements on restricted use pesticides and creates buffer zones for crops near schools, homes, and hospitals.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court, contends that the law irrationally prohibits the biotechnology companies from growing any crops — GMO or not — in arbitrarily drawn buffer zones, and restricts the companies’ pesticide use within the buffer zones.

More Here:

21st Annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival Information

The 21st annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival has a full lineup of free multi-cultural performing arts and hands-on demonstrations, plus nearly 150 crafters and food booths 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1 at various venues sprawling through town—look for pink banners identifying site locations.

“Love These Cherry Blossoms!” by artist Rani Denise Ulrich

“Love These Cherry Blossoms!” and artist Rani Denise Ulrich of Keauhou

Festival parking is available at Parker Ranch Center, the soccer field across Church Row Park and Parker School. Three festival shuttles offer free transportation among venues. A map of the shuttle route and festival venues is available at each venue location and distributed January 30 in the North Hawaii News.

This year’s festival art showcases the impressionistic art of Keauhou-Kona resident Rani Denise Ulrich. The 11X17-inch event poster features Ulrich’s impressionistic painting, “Love These Cherry Blossoms!” The $10 posters, along with the original 18 X 24 painting, can be purchased at the Firehouse Gallery, 808-887-1052. Posters go on sale January 29.

Organized by members of the upcountry community and the county’s department of parks and recreation, the festival marks the blooming of the historic cherry trees at Church Row Park and celebrates the age-old Japanese tradition of hanami, which translates to “cherry blossom viewing party.” After a seasonal winter chill, the trees typically are blooming in February.

This year’s festival is dedicated to Waimea residents Emiko Wakayama and Fumi Bonk.  The women, who both have Japanese heritage, will be recognized at the festival’s opening ceremony. Time is 9 a.m. on the main entertainment stage at the rear of Parker Ranch Center.

A quick rundown of festival activities at various locations follows (times are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. unless specified otherwise).

Church Row Park

  • Historical Cherry Tree Display: Waimea Lions’ Club offers a pictorial history of the cherry trees and serves as the festival’s official Lost and Found station. The Lions will also collect used eyeglasses.
  • Entertainment: aikido demonstrations throughout the day, Hawaii Chinese Lion Dance Association at 11 a.m.
  • Cherry Pie & Dessert Cook-off: Senior clubs from Waimea, Waikoloa and North Kohala vie in cherry dessert competition with judging at noon.
  • Bonsai: The Waimea Bonyu Kai Bonsai Club offers a display and sale of bonsai, ongoing demonstrations and a clinic to discuss and work on the art of bonsai.
  • Japanese Furoshiki at Kamuela Hongwanji: Learn the time-honored art of gift wrapping.
  • Asian Collectibles/Food Sales at Kamuela Hongwanji: Church organizations sell Asian-themed collectibles, lanterns made from recycled beverage cans, cherry tree seedlings and cherry blossoms in mugs; plus Asian foods: Inari sushi, teriyaki chicken bowl, spam musubi, nishime bento, manju, andagi and prune mui.
  • Cooking Demos at Kamuela Hongwanji: Big Isle chefs offer cooking demonstrations with free samples.

Parker Ranch Center- Hwy. 19

  • Festival Entertainment Stage: In the back parking lot. Opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. kick off continuous entertainment until 3 p.m.: Bon Odori Taiko, Hawaii Chinese Lion Dance Association, Kumu Hula Michael Pang’s Hula Halau Ka Noeau, Michael Strand Band, Darlene Ahuna, Honokaa Jazz Band, Tai Shoji Taiko.
  • Craft Fair: Nearly 150 crafters inside Center and in the back parking lot.
  • Mochi Tsuki Pounding: Help pound mochi using 500 pounds of rice with the Kona Hongwanji Mission outside the Fireside Food Court starting 10 a.m.; samples.

Kahilu Theatre Lobby- Lindsey Road/Parker Ranch Center

  • Cultural Demos/Performing Arts: Enjoy ritual Japanese tea ceremony led by Emi Wakayama; art display of woodblock prints, ikebana, origami and feather leis; hanafuda card playing; and ongoing Voyager Exhibit: Hokulea World Wide Voyage by Na Kalai Waa. Entertainment: Japanese and international music by musicians from Japan and the islands.

Mana Christian Ohana Church – (Former Kahilu Town Hall) Behind Parker Ranch Center

  • Ka Hui Kapa Apana O Waimea’s Hawaiian and Americana Quilt Show: Extensive quilt display and sale, members offer a “learn how” area and pattern tracing.
  • Kamaaina Motors Car Show: Hamakua side of parking lot.

Waimea Historic Corner-Hwys. 19/190 intersection

  • Firehouse Gallery Art Demos/Exhibition: Waimea Arts Council presents art with a cherry blossom theme, plus event poster sales for $10. Artists demonstrate paper making, painting, plus sidewalk chalk drawings for all ages. Photographers offer digital photo art Q&A session. Food by Kohala Taco & Burger, plus tropical-flavored popsicles.

Parker School-Lindsey Road

  • Waimea Town Market/Performing Arts: Market with fresh produce, food and artisan booths open 8 a.m.-1 p.m. with performances by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii-Kohala and Hawaii Chinese Lion Dance Association 10 a.m.-noon.

Kamuela Liquors-Hwy. 19

  • Sake Tasting: Noon-3 p.m.

Kuhio Hale-Hwy. 19

  • Farmer’s Market: More than 20 members of the Hawaiian Homestead Market offer a variety of products for sale 7 a.m.-noon.

Ginger Farm- (old Anderson Homestead) MM 55 across from Puu Nani St. on Hwy. 19

  • Japanese Home Tour/Tea Tasting/Keiki Craft: Self-guided tour through traditional Japanese style home and garden with Japanese walking bridge. Island keiki serve cherry tea and show keiki how to make a cherry blossom-hanging scroll.

The Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival is produced by the Hawaii County Parks and Recreation’s Culture and Education Section. Overseen by the park’s culture education administrator, Roxcie Waltjen, the festival is a community-wide effort by a dedicated team of volunteers, 961-8706.

Big Island Police Searching for 25-Year-Old Man Considered Armed and Dangerous

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

Keahi Calvin Sale

Keahi Calvin Sale

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

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

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Bank of Hawaii Donates $12,500 to Hawaii Island’s Three Hospice Organizations

Hospice of Hilo along with North Hawaii Hospice and Hospice of Kona received a generous $12,500 donation from Bank of Hawaii.

BOH Hospice

The donation, funded by a teri beef plate sale, was an employee driven effort.  Bank of Hawaii employees voted to choose the three hospice organizations as beneficiaries.  The employees and hospice organizations sold 1348 teri beef plate tickets Island wide.

Over 80 volunteers, the majority being Bank of Hawaii employees, volunteered over 360 hours of their time to prepare, cook and serve the teri beef plates. In addition to the manpower provided by local Bank of Hawaii representatives, the bank’s Foundation also matched the funds raised with a $5,000 grant.  KTA Superstores generously provided the delicious products and space for the fundraiser to take place.

“This gift is especially meaningful because it was the employees of Bank of Hawaii who voted and chose our organizations to benefit from their hard work.  We are so honored to have their trust and support.  These dollars will greatly benefit the patients and families of our entire island,” said Hospice of Hilo CEO, Brenda S. Ho.

“Many of Bank of Hawaii’s employees have experienced, first hand, the incredible work of the hospices on our island.  We are honored to be able to support the invaluable care and compassion these organizations provide for our community,” said Bank of Hawaii’s Hawaii Island Manager and Senior Vice President, Roberta Chu.

Big Island Police Searching for Kona Man Wanted for Abuse of Family/Household Member

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 21-year-old Kailua-Kona man wanted for abuse of a family/household member.

Moala Kuahuia Kaupu

Moala Kuahuia Kaupu

Moala Kuahuia Kaupu is described as 5-foot-11, 185 pounds with brown eyes and short curly black hair. Both his ears are pierced and he has a scripture tattoo on an inner forearm.

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 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Governor Appoints Richard Creagan to State House Seat Vacated by Rep. Denny Coffman

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the appointment of Richard P. Creagan, M.D. to the state House of Representatives for Hawaii’s Fifth Representative District, a seat recently left vacant by the resignation of Rep. Denny Coffman. The appointment is effective immediately and for the balance of the term.

Richard P. Creagan

Richard P. Creagan

“Richard’s diverse experience as a physician, researcher, farmer, Peace Corps volunteer and educator will contribute greatly to his service to the people of Hawaii,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “I look forward to working with Richard as a member of Hawaii’s House of Representatives.”

Dr. Creagan first came to Hawaii in 1966 and trained for the Peace Corps on Molokai for two months. He then served as a Health Care Worker in the Marshall Islands for two years. He speaks fluent Marshallese. A resident of Naalehu on Hawaii Island, Dr. Creagan is vice-president of Kiolakaa Mountain Farms, which he founded in 1994 with his wife, Marilyn, who works as a labor and delivery nurse at Kona Community Hospital.

As a residency trained and board certified emergency physician, Dr. Creagan worked for 10 years in California prior to moving to Hawaii full-time 23 years ago. Since then, he has worked in the Emergency Department and served as vice-chief of staff at Kona Community Hospital, worked as a Hawaii Department of Health bioterrorism preparedness epidemiologic investigator monitoring disease outbreaks, and helped found and run Hualalai Urgent Care.

Before his medical career, Dr. Creagan was a student and human genetics researcher at Yale University and the University of Connecticut Medical Center. He later helped found and run San Francisco-based AGRI, a firm which focused on animal vaccines and human blood products. The start-up company was eventually bought after five years, which facilitated his move to Hawaii.

As an educator, Dr. Creagan has assisted in teaching junior scientists at Yale and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He taught English as a Peace Corps volunteer, seventh and eighth grade math and science in Pittsburgh, and tutored students in English at Naalehu Elementary School.

Dr. Creagan graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and then with an M.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He recently returned to school and earned a Certificate in Plant Tissue Culture in 2005 and a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2009 from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Update – Lava Flow Still Advancing Through Forest Northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is still advancing through the forest northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Click Image to Enlarge

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow remains active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with the flow front this week consisting of a narrow finger that has reached 7.5 km (4.7 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The flow front has cut a narrow swath through the forest, and is igniting numerous small fires. The smell of smoke can sometimes be detected when the winds carry the smoke into populated areas. The vent for the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is on Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, which can be seen in the upper left portion of the image.

Click image to enlarge

View of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, looking southwest. The vent for the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is on the near side of the crater, close to the center of the photograph (but obscured by white fume). The Kahaualeʻa 2 lava tube that is supplying lava to the flow front in the forest (see photo above) goes down the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, and is marked by a line of fume extending towards the lower right corner of the photo. The lava tube that supplied the Peace Day flow (now inactive) extends to the southeast (towards the lower left corner of the photo) and is marked by a line of faint fume sources.

New Year’s Air Quality and Fireworks-Related Injuries Continue to Improve on Oahu

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) Clean Air Branch measured low levels of smoke from fireworks during the 2014 New Year period, with particulate levels on Oahu showing continued improvement over years prior to the 2011 ban on certain fireworks on Oahu. The lower levels continue a trend that coincides with reduced fireworks activity resulting from the 2011 ban.

Hilo Bay Fireworks

The DOH measures particulate levels at four air monitoring stations on Oahu (Honolulu, Pearl City, Sand Island, and Kapolei). Fireworks smoke consist primarily of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), whichcan penetrate into the lungs and aggravate existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The PM 2.5 national standard is 35 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) averaged over 24 hours.

During the 2014 New Year period, the particulate levels were measured at 16 μg/m 3 or lower in all areas, with the highest recorded particulate level of 16 μg/m 3 in Pearl City. The particulate monitoring stations on Kauai (Niumalu), Maui (Paia and Kihei) and the Big Island (Hilo, Kona, Mountain View, Ocean View, Pahala, and Waikoloa) also measured levels below the standard.

The use of fireworks during the New Year’s celebration will always affect the air quality, but the degree of impact for any location is greatly influenced by weather conditions such as wind and rain, the amount of fireworks burned in the area, and the configuration of the land. New Year’s data is also available at the Clean Air Branch website at:

Information collected on fireworks-related injuries over the New Year period of Dec. 31-Jan. 2, show a total of 33 injuries treated in emergency rooms throughout the state. This is the second lowest total over the 14-year period data has been collected and a 17 percent decrease from the 40 injuries documented in the previous New Year period. Fireworks-related injuries continue to be relatively low on Oahu in the three years following a Honolulu County ordinance to regulate their use. The reduced number of injuries is particularly apparent among child-aged patients (under 18 years of age). The data was collected by the DOH Injury Prevention program from 22 emergency departments of all hospitals throughout the state and the Hana and Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Centers.

Training to Handle Anticipated Increase for Elevation Certificates Under a New Federal Law

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State Department of Land & Natural Resources (DLNR) will be conducting training on Elevation Certificates at the West Hawai‘i Civic Center, Thursday January 30 in Building A at the Council Conference room.

Registration is online at https://2014‐ec‐

Elevation Certificates (ECs), is now required to determine a structure’s risk under the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

Elevation Certificate

Registration begins at 8:00 AM.  Participants will be introduced to ECs, given examples of application applicable to different types of structures, and how to trouble shoot possible problems.  The workshop ends at 12:30 PM. Parking is free.

For questions about the workshop, please contact the State National Flood Insurance Program, Department of Land and Natural (DLNR) Resources Engineering Division toll free at 974-4000 extension 70281 or 70254.

ECs can be downloaded on the County of Hawai‘i Public Works website at


Pacific Skydiving Incident on North Shore Sends Skydiver to Hospital

A skydiving incident at Pacific Skydiving on the North Shore has sent a skydiver to the hospital this afternoon.  It is not known at this time the extent of the injuries.

Another skydiving incident at Pacific Skydive

Another skydiving incident at Pacific Skydiving

Community Power Night at Keaau High School

Teens, parents, and families are invited to the Community Power Night on Friday, January 17, 2014, 5:45pm to 8pm at Keaau High School cafeteria.

Keaau High School

The free event will feature a workshop to educate and empower teens to identify positive choices to prevent underage drinking and use of drugs. Big Island Substance Abuse Council will lead this informative and interactive workshop.

For parents, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) will lead the “Power of Parent, It’s Your Influence” Workshop. This workshop will provide parents with information and resources to talk to their teens about alcohol and making good choices.

Native FM’s Gumby will emcee and the guest speaker is Louise Fincher, trauma nurse at Hilo Medical Center.

In addition the event will offer a keiki zone with fun games & activities, skit with MADD Man & Beer Man, performance by Center Stage Dance Studio, free dinner, and door prizes.

Enter for a chance to win a 2 night stay at the Hilton Waikoloa Village and a GoPro camera.

We would like to thank the following community partners: Big Island Substance Abuse Council (BISAC), Coalition for a Drug Free Hawaii, Hawaii Meth Project, Hilo Medical Center, HOPE Services Hawaii, Keaau High School, Ken’s Towing, Living Waters, MADD, Neighborhood Place of Puna, Men of Pa’a, Office of Council Member Greggor Ilagan, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center, Youth With A Mission (YWAM).

Thank you to the following for their generous donations: Hilton Waikoloa Village, Center Stage Dance Studio, HFS Federal Credit Union, Café 100, McDonalds, Island Princess.

Former House and Senate Members to Be Honored at Opening of Hawaii State Legislative Session

The Hawaii State Legislature will convene the 2014 Legislative Session on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 10 a.m. in their respective chambers.


To commemorate the 55th anniversary of statehood, the Legislature will honor and acknowledge former state House and Senate members who have served throughout the years since 1959.  In the House, over 50 former representatives are expected to attend.

As in 2010 and 2012 (second years of the biennium), the Legislature will hold a modest opening to the legislative session with a business as usual approach.  Floor proceedings will not include musical entertainment, and family members, friends and guests will not be seated on the chamber floors.  Following the session, legislators will have the discretion to host guests in their individual offices.

The public is welcomed to attend the opening floor sessions, however seating is limited. Chamber galleries will open at 9:45 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.


Two Kona Men Arrested on Kidnapping and Other Charges

Two men have been arrested in connection with a kidnapping last month in Kona.

On December 23, a 22-year-old Kailua-Kona man reported that at 3:45 p.m., a 31-year-old male acquaintance and a second unidentified man approached him on Royal Poinciana Drive near Aliʻi Drive and asked him for drugs and cash. When he refused, they reportedly assaulted him, forced him into a sports-utility vehicle, stole personal items and held him at knife point while driving around Kailua-Kona for more than an hour and demanding money.

The victim persuaded his assailants to drive him to the home of a family member so he could get cash. Once there, he went inside. After a family member confronted the suspects and said police had been called, the suspects drove away.

On January 1, Kona patrol officers located the SUV, which was damaged and abandoned on Hina Lani Street in Kailua-Kona. Further investigation by Area II Criminal Investigations Section detectives confirmed the identities of both suspects.

Jack Casuga

Jack Casuga

On Monday (January 6), police arrested 31-year-old Jack Toribio Casuga of Kailua-Kona and took him to the Kona police cellblock while detectives continued the investigation.

On Wednesday (January 8), Casuga was charged with kidnapping, first-degree robbery, first-degree terroristic threatening and fourth-degree theft. He was also charged with violating parole in an unrelated incident and with first-degree burglary and second-degree attempted robbery for another unrelated incident on December 19 at a home on Aliʻi Drive. His bail was set at $146,000. He was held at the cellblock until his initial court appearance on Thursday (January 9).

William Holbron-Kealoha

William Holbron-Kealoha

Also on Thursday (January 9), 29-year-old William Holbron-Kealoha of Kailua-Kona was arrested and charged with kidnapping, first-degree robbery, first-degree terroristic threatening and an unrelated count of failure to appear. His bail was set at $110,100. He remains at the Kona police cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Friday (January 10).

Captain Cook Man Busted Again – This Time for Stealing Pickup Truck

A Captain Cook man has been charged with numerous offenses stemming from the investigation of a stolen pickup truck.

On October 21, police responded to a report that a 2011 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck had been stolen while it was parked along Māmalahoa Highway in Captain Cook.

Joshua Watan (Before)

Joshua Watan (Before)

Police investigation led to the recovery of the stolen truck from a parking lot in Kealakekua on January 3. Police executed a search warrant on the truck and recovered 8 grams of crystal methamphetamine, a glass pipe with residue, and a loaded handgun. Further investigation led to the identity of the person who had control of the truck.

On Tuesday (January 7), police arrested 32-year-old Joshua Watan of Captain Cook. He was taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives continued the investigation.

Joshua Watan (Now)

Joshua Watan (Now)

On Thursday (January 9), he was charged with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, theft, meth trafficking, promoting a dangerous drug, drug paraphernalia, five firearm offenses, four counts of violating release on bail and first-degree terroristic threatening for making a threat to a law enforcement officer while in custody. His bail was set at $184,000. He remains at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Friday (January 9).