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Coast Guard Suspends Search for Overboard Crewmember of Container Ship

The Coast Guard suspended the search Wednesday for a Japanese crewmember reported overboard from the container ship Hercules Highway, approximately 805 miles northeast of Oahu.

Container ship Hercules Highway

Container ship Hercules Highway

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center were notified at approximately 8:23 a.m., Monday regarding the 23-year-old male who was reported overboard from the container ship Hercules Highway.

The crewmember was last seen at approximately 7 p.m., Sunday.

As part of the AMVER program, the motor vessel’s St. Andrews, Anne Gret and the UACC Masafi assisted the Hercules Highway in the search for the crewmember.

AMVER, sponsored by the Coast Guard, is a unique, computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.

Approximately 2,255 square miles were searched.

The Coast Guard regularly coordinates with DoD, commercial vessels that are part of the AMVER program and international partners to conduct searches in the Pacific where extreme distances often limit the resources immediately available to respond.

The 14th Coast Guard District area of responsibility encompasses more than 12.2 million square miles of the Central and South Pacific.

 

Department of Education Announces 2014 Graduation Dates

The Hawaii State Department of Education is announcing its 2014 graduation dates for more than 60 schools, including public high schools and charter schools. In all, there will be approximately 11,000 students graduating from public schools this year.

Graduation dates begin in late May with the ceremonies for Pahoa on Hawaii Island on Sunday, May 18.

graduation

Click to view dates

Stolen Checkbook Leads to Eight Felonies for Waimea Woman

A 23-year-old Waimea woman has been charged with eight felonies in connection with a stolen checkbook.

The victim, a 58-year-old Hōlualoa woman, reported on April 7 that a new checkbook from her bank had been stolen. Police investigation determined that some of the checks were later forged and cashed.

Josephine Miranda

Josephine Miranda

The suspect, Josephine Miranda, was arrested Monday (April 14) at a bank in Kealakekua, where she had unsuccessfully attempted to cash another forged check from the stolen checkbook. She was taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

On Tuesday (April 15), Miranda was charged with two counts of theft, two counts of ID theft, two counts of forgery and two counts of possession of unauthorized personal information. Her bail was set at $22,000.

She remained at the cellblock until her initial court appearance on Wednesday.

Big Island Police Still Seeking Hilo Man

Hawaiʻi Island police are renewing their request for information about 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.

Taser Not Cause of Death in Kona Man’s Death

The final results of an autopsy conducted Wednesday (February 5) on the body of 39-year-old Randall Hatori of Kailua-Kona concluded that the cause of death was cardio-respiratory arrest due to the combined effects of high levels of methamphetamine in his blood, an enlarged heart and a physical struggle.

HPDBadgeAccording to Dr. Lindsey Harle, the forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy, the stress of these three factors likely caused a cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heart rhythm, that led to his death.

Dr. Harle said the autopsy showed minor injuries on the body of Hatori and that, while an electronic control device was used during the confrontation, it did not play a role in his death.

At 12:30 a.m. on February 4, a Kona Patrol officer made a traffic stop at a gas station in a shopping center on Palani Road. The driver, 38-year-old Ernest Ricky Alvarez of Kailua-Kona, was arrested on a $10,000 bench warrant for contempt of court.

Hatori, who was a passenger and was wanted for assault and violating temporary restraining orders, fled on foot.

The officer pursued Hatori on foot and a struggle ensued while trying to apprehend him. Initially unable to restrain Hatori, the officer deployed his conducted electric weapon (commonly known as a “Taser”) in an attempt to subdue him. Hatori continued to actively resist arrest and the struggle continued. Other officers responded to the scene and assisted in restraining Hatori. After Hatori was placed in handcuffs, he became unresponsive.

Fire Department EMTs on scene attempted resuscitation and then transported him to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:53 a.m.

Detectives recovered 7.3 grams of methamphetamine at the scene of the struggle.

Hawaii, Mexico Students Explore Volcano in Virtual Field Trip

Clad in their fiery red uniforms, Keaau Elementary students stand at the edge of Kilauea Volcano and lead a chant in honor of the goddess Pele as they prepare to hike down the Big Island crater. Across the Pacific Ocean, students from Peterson Schools in Mexico City rise in their classroom, reciting the same Hawaiian words as they watch steam billow from the crater’s vents and listen to the gusty trade winds through a live video feed.

Dr. John Bailey with Keeau Elemantary students at the crater rim.

Dr. John Bailey with Keeau Elemantary students at the crater rim.

Dozens of public school students took part in a virtual field trip on Monday to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the latest example of how the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is using technology to innovate and expand learning opportunities at home and abroad.

Virtual ClassChildren from Nanakuli Elementary’s Immersion program (Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Nanakuli), Hale Kula Elementary and University Laboratory School also experienced the sights and sounds of Kilauea volcano, thanks to Keaau students and staff who wore Google Glass to broadcast their excursion online. The public and more than 50 educators worldwide were able to engage in the field trip, which was in part recorded from the students’-eye view via the “Grab & Go Glassroom” – a wired pack projecting a feed from the students’ Google Glass view into a livestream.

Virtual Class3

The DOE’s own digital curriculum program, known as Access Learning, has allowed eight pilot schools – including Keaau and Nanakuli – to explore exciting lessons that go beyond textbooks and classroom walls by equipping students with laptops and training teachers on the latest educational tools.

In February, for example, University Laboratory students live streamed their field trip to Honolulu Zoo to the laptops of Keaau Elementary students. Children from both schools partnered to produce videos and other projects about birds they saw at the zoo.

On Monday, Keaau students returned the favor by bringing other students along as they kicked off their volcano adventure by meeting with Matt Patrick, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0fET_xgHBY]

Hawaii and Mexico students quickly peppered Patrick with questions: “How do you know when volcanoes will erupt?” “What do you have to study to become a volcanologist?,” and “What’s the speed of lava?”

Students virtually joined their Keaau classmates on a bus ride to the volcano, then performed a chant together before watching their descent into the crater.

During a question-and-answer period, a Peterson Schools student remarked the experience “was awesome” because it allowed him to “see the things that we don’t have here in Mexico.”
Virtual Class2
University Laboratory teacher Marybeth Baldwin said students use Google applications to do homework, peer edit and collaborate on projects.  Her class will use the information from the volcano field trip to learn a new storytelling tool, called Tour Builder, which lets students create interactive maps of places around the world.

“They will take their own information, their pictures, links, and any text that they write, to build a map and – just like Google Earth – drop a pin with all the story they want to tell,” Baldwin said.

For more photos of today’s event, visit https://www.facebook.com/HIDepartmentofEducation.

Man Overboard! Coast Guard Searching for Man Reported Overboard from Container Ship

The Coast Guard is searching for a male crewmember reported overboard from a container ship approximately 805 miles northeast of Oahu, Monday.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center were notified at approximately 8:23 a.m., regarding a 23-year-old male Japanese national who was reported overboard from the container ship Hercules Highway.

Container ship Hercules Highway

Container ship Hercules Highway

The crewmember was last seen at approximately 7 p.m., Sunday.

An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point launched to the scene and the ship has changed course and is searching for the missing crewmember.

As part of the AMVER program, the motor vessel’s St. Andrews, Anne Gret and the UACC Masafi are assisting in the search.

The Coast Guard regularly coordinates with DoD, commercial vessels that are part of the AMVER program and international partners to conduct searches in the Pacific where extreme distances often limit the resources immediately available to respond. The 14th Coast Guard District area of responsibility encompasses more than 12.2 million square miles of the Central and South Pacific.
AMVER, sponsored by the Coast Guard, is a unique, computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.

Weather conditions on scene are winds of approximately 28 mph, seas of 12 feet and a water temperature of approximately 69 degrees.

For more information, contact the 14th Coast Guard District external affairs office at (808) 535-3230.

Changes in State ID Card and Driver’s License Application Process

Beginning May 1, 2014, the cost of a state identification card and the documents required to obtain a driver’s license will change.

State ID’s will cost $32.00 in Kauai County with a fee of $4 per year, and $40.00 in Honolulu, Maui and Hawaii counties with a fee of $5 per year. The state ID is good for 8 years, and a duplicate will cost $7 in Kauai County and $6 in Honolulu, Maui and Hawaii counties.

Hawaii Drivers License SampleThose obtaining a driver’s license will be required to present two forms of proof of principal residence in Hawaii. Principal residence is defined as the location where a person currently resides even if the residence location is temporary. Any two of the following documents (original or copy) with the applicant as the addressee and stating the applicant’s principal residence will be acceptable proof:

  1. A current valid Hawaii driver’s license;
  2. Vehicle registration or title;
  3. A current voter registration card or other mail addressed to the applicant from a government or medical entity that is not more than two months old;
  4. Utility bill that is not more than two months old with applicant’s name and address;
  5. Checking or savings account statement not more than two months old;
  6. Payroll check or check stub issued by an employer within two months of the application date;
  7. Current mortgage account or proof of home ownership;
  8. Residential rental or time share contract for six months or more;
  9. United States income tax return, W-2 form or 1099 SSA benefits form from the previous year;
  10. Hawaii income tax return from the previous year or W-2 form;
  11. Receipt for personal property taxes paid to a county within the State of Hawaii within the last year;
  12. Medical card issued by a health insurance agency with principal residence address printed on it;
  13. Documentation dated not more than ninety days prior to making application that the individual is receiving State of Hawaii public assistance;
  14. Current property tax assessment bill or statement;
  15. A stamped department of taxation form A-6, application for tax clearance that is not more than six months old;
  16. Homeless applicants may use the address of their current shelter agency, or if not staying in a shelter, may use the general delivery of the post office nearest where they spend most of their time;
  17. Applicants documenting enrollment in a State or Federal address confidentiality program which allows an applicant to obtain and use alternative addresses may use an alternative address on the card but must provide the applicant’s permanent address for file purposes;
  18. P.O. Box numbers are not acceptable to indicate principal residence address unless a number and street name have not been assigned for U.S. mail delivery. An address convention used by the U.S. Postal Service is acceptable;
  19. Affidavit indicating that the applicant currently resides with the affiant, provided the affiant’s address can be verified and the affidavit is notarized within two months of the application date; or
  20. Other documents the examiner of drivers accepts as proof of principal residence in the State of Hawaii.

Volcano School Of Arts and Sciences Receives $618,000 for Planning and Design of New Campus

The Office of the Governor has announced the release of $618,000 to the Volcano School of Arts and Sciences for the planning and design of their new campus in Volcano Village, Hawaii.

Volcano School

Volcano School of Arts and Sciences, a public charter school, was created by community members to educate and nurture the individual strengths and interests of each student. VSAS graduates have demonstrated exceptional success in high school and college. The construction of a new campus will ensure that the successful vision of VSAS will continue long into the future.

Senator Russell Ruderman stated, “I am extremely happy with the announcement of the release of Grant in Aid funds for the Volcano School of the Arts’ new campus and I fully support the new models to education that VSAS provides its students. Students deserve quality options in education and they are motivated by the kinds of challenges that charter schools like VSAS can provide. I am thrilled to support these innovators in education that are demonstrating what’s possible, and learning what works, to put our students in the best possible position to succeed.

The project supported by this funding will provide expanded and improved educational opportunities. This award will provide an exceptional learning environment for all keiki at Volcano School of Arts and Sciences. Additionally, this funding will assist in creating jobs for our district. Our office has worked diligently to ensure that this GIA request made its way through the process, and redoubled our efforts with the knowledge that these funds would be lapsing soon. Through the efforts of many people including C. Mike Kido, Legislative Advisor, Office of Governor Abercrombie and Leila Shar, Financial Performance Manager, State Public Charter School Commission, that request has come to fruition.”

Grassroot Institute ‘Celebrates’ Hawaii’s Tax Freedom Day

In an effort to help Hawaii’s citizens better understand the state tax burden, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is wishing them all a “Happy Tax Freedom Day” today via social media.

Tax Freedom Day
Based on calculations by theTax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day is the day when taxpayers have collectively earned enough to satisfy the tax bill for that year. In other words, for the average Hawaii citizen, if he or she had dedicated every penny of their earnings to their tax bill from the beginning of the year, then today (April 15th) would be the day that bill would be “paid off.”

Hawaii ranks in the middle of the pack for state Tax Freedom Days. Louisiana has the lowest burden (their Tax Freedom Day was March 30th), while Connecticut and New Jersey are the highest (May 9th). The National Tax Freedom Day (using figures from the country as a whole) is on April 21st, three days later than last year–which reflects the slow economic recovery. (As a point of comparison, consider that Tax Freedom Day in the year 1900 would have fallen on January 22nd.)

“Hawaii’s economic recovery has a lot to do with our better-than-average performance,” stated Keli’i Akina, President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. “However, we’ve taken a small step backward and should be wary of policies that will increase the tax burden and slow our economic growth.”

“Most people don’t realize just how hard and long they work to pay their tax bill,” Dr. Akina continued. “We hope that this helps put that into perspective and encourages taxpayers to demand greater fiscal responsibility and accountability from the government and their elected officials.”

Slew of Celebrities Headline Big Island Chocolate Festival

“Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres of New York City headlines a slew of chocolate and cacao celebrities appearing at this year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival gala. Time is 6-10 p.m., Saturday, May 3 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Adding to the star power is Yisa Var and the Girls Nite Out! band.

Chef Jacques Torres

Chef Jacques Torres

Also in the limelight are a host of chocolate savory and sweet culinary treats prepared by top Hawai’i chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners. Think Pork Mole with Tomatillo Salsa or Orange Ginger Chocolate Mac Nut Crunch Torte.

The 6-10 p.m. gala features the creation of a chocolate sculpture using 40 pounds of chocolate—bring your camera—chocolate body painting, fine wines, chocolate-infused beer and the debut of a tasty new Bacardi Mango Fusion cocktail.

Chocolate Festival

Back by popular demand, Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard chocolates returns to the festival to create a decadent, multi-colored sculpture. He recently made the news when he fashioned a massive chocolate cake to serve 15,000 revelers at the centennial celebration of Rodeo Drive. A Washington resident, Wressell was named Pastry Chef of the Year at the 2005 National Pastry Team Championships.

Food Network star Torres leads a stable of off-island chefs who will judge the evening’s culinary creations and also give pre-gala seminars May 2-3. Attendees can also vote for the People’s Choice Award from a host of categories including mouth-watering bonbons.

Torres, who became the youngest pastry chef to earn the prestigious Best Craftsman in France medal for pastry, is the first artisan chocolatier to make his own chocolate starting from cocoa beans. Joining him is celebrity judge Vincent Bourdin of Singapore, a regional chef at Valrhona Chocolate and president of the Asia Pacific Pastry Cup Board.  He is co-author of “Cooking with Chocolate,” which has been translated into five languages. Judging bean to bar “tastes” is cacao and chocolate tasting advisor Ed Seguine of Pennsylvania who has 30 years experience working with farmers and companies in developing cacaos.

Also serving as culinary station judges are Chef Heather Campbell of Kauai‘s St. Regis Resort Princeville and Chef Rhonda Ashton-Chavez of the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.

Girl's Night Out

Girls Night Out!

Girls Nite Out! is a diverse dance band hailing from East Hawai‘i that performs rock, blues, disco, pop, R&B, Hawaiian and country music. Drummer Will Divine founded the group in 2000 with guitarist Wesley Matsuda and offers a variety of guitar, synth and keyboard sounds. The lead vocalist is local performer, actor and morning radio show personality Yisa Var. Adding to the vocal section is Sherry Fox, best known for her appearance on TV’s “Your Big Break,” and Jeff Enriques, who also plays bass.

Volcano Choy

Volcano Choy

Joining Girls Nite Out! is a talented horn section with Moon Brown on saxophone and Jr. Volcano Choy on trumpet. Choy has performed with the likes of Al Jarreau, George Benson and Nancy Wilson.

In addition, a silent auction benefits the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchen” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua. The third annual festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc.

Pre-sale gala tickets are $75 and $100 at the door. New this year is the VIP Fast Wine Pass with early event admission and personalized wine service. Seminar details and tickets for all activities are available online at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Chocolate Fest

Also available is an inclusive Chocolate Lovers package that features a two-night’s stay at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, plus all festival activities at the ocean-side Four Diamond resort; contact info@BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. Attendees who want to stay at the resort during the festival can get a discounted room rate of $269 per night including daily breakfast for two and can book direct with the hotel at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. Mahalo to sponsors and community supporters: The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, Guittard, DeZaan, Valrohna, PreGel, The Wave-92.1, Big Island Honda and Tire Center, Bacardi, Dolphin Journeys, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Cocoa Outlet, Callebaut Chocolate, Cacao Cusina, DHX, Gourmet Foods Hawaii, Johnson Brothers of Hawaii, Ke Ola magazine, Kona Brewing Company, Kona Natural Soap Company, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory and West Hawaii Today.

The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Big Island Police Searching for Hilo Man Wanted on Parole Violation

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating a 42-year-old Hilo man wanted for a parole violation.

Dale Daniel Arruda

Dale Daniel Arruda

Dale Daniel Arruda is described as part Hawaiian, 5-foot-7, 170 pounds with short brown hair and brown eyes. He may have a goatee.

He is known to frequent the Puna District.

Police warn the public against approaching Arruda. Instead, they should immediately call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 to report any sightings.

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

“Run to Honor” – “Click It or Ticket” Keiki Fun Run

In recognition of Police Week, the Hawaiʻi Police Department and Crime Stoppers Hawaiʻi will hold a “Run To Honor” 5K Run/2 Mile Walk and “Click It or Ticket” Keiki Fun Run on Saturday, May 17, at Liliʻuokalani Gardens in Hilo.

HPDBadgeThe public is invited to participate to honor the memory of officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice and to promote crime prevention through the use of Crime Stoppers. This family event includes food, entertainment, informational and activity booths, prizes, a water slide and more.

Entry fee for the 5K Run/2 Mile Walk is $25 dollars and includes a T-shirt. The Keiki Fun Run is free and includes a T-shirt.

Deadline to register is Thursday, May 1. Entries received after the deadline cannot be guaranteed a T-shirt. Late entry fee is $30. Proceeds from this event will go to establish a Crime Stoppers/Police scholarship.

The 5K Run and 2 Mile Walk start at 8:30 a.m. with check-in and early registration from 7-8 a.m.

The Keiki Fun Run for ages 6-14 starts at 9:30 a.m. with check-in and early registration from 7-9:15 a.m.

If participants prefer, they may check in and pickup up a T-shirt and number between May 14 and May 16 from 1-3 p.m. at the Hilo police station at 349 Kapiʻolani Street.

Registration forms are available at police stations island wide and on the Police Department’s website at www.hawaiipolice.com.

For more information, you may call Community Policing Lieutenant Darren Horio at 961-2350 or email him at dhorio@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Big Island Police Participating in National “Take-Back Initiative”

The Hawaiʻi Police Department is encouraging the public to participate in a nationwide prescription drug take-back initiative being sponsored in Hawaiʻi by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the state Department of the Attorney General and the Department of Public Safety.
take backOn Saturday, April 26, members of the public may turn in unused, unneeded or expired prescription medications between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the following collection sites for safe, anonymous disposal:

Komohana Medical Center Complex (upper parking lot)
670 Komohana Street
Hilo

Kona police station parking lot
74-611 Hale Makaʻi Place
Kailua-Kona

Tablets, capsules and all other solid dosage forms will be accepted. Intravenous solutions, injectables and syringes will not be accepted.

Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative.

Having unused and expired medicine in your home increases the risk of prescription drug abuse and accidental poisoning. Proper disposal also helps reduce the risk of prescription drugs entering a human water supply or potentially harming aquatic life.

For more information about the drug take-back program, visit www.dea.gov.

Full Video – Big Island Farmer Exposed as Sexual Predator

In a breaking international news video, a Big Island farmer is found living in hiding in Florida, after his victims in Hawaii came forward to sue him for child sexual abuse.

VICE News today presents Love Serve Surrender. In the documentary, VICE News investigates alleged pedophile Jay Ram, who for decades has managed to foster, adopt, and care for dozens of boys referred by charities and child welfare agencies, despite repeated warning signs that he was a sexual predator.

VICE News today presents Love Serve Surrender. In the documentary, VICE News investigates alleged pedophile Jay Ram, who for decades has managed to foster, adopt, and care for dozens of boys referred by charities and child welfare agencies, despite repeated warning signs that he was a sexual predator.

A VICE News exclusive investigation: Hippie guru Jay Ram was hailed as a public hero for fostering, adopting, and caring for dozens of boys that had nowhere else to go. But years later, a new picture has emerged. Several of his sons have come forward to say that he preyed on them sexually and forced them to recruit other boys to molest. VICE News has uncovered new evidence that shows that charities and child welfare agencies missed several clear warning signs, and continued to place new children in Ram’s care. Until now, he has never faced justice.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/v2sFheAc1rQ]

…I remember the first time going up there,” says Carlos, now burly and bearded with a large tribal tattoo on his bald scalp. “It was on a big, dry ranch. It was really hot, and I saw all these boys, different nationalities. I said, ‘Wow! Where’s the mom?’ I wasn’t really thinking about it because I saw all these boys having fun…. They could cuss. It’s like they could do whatever they wanted there. And you know, it was cool.”

Just two weeks later, Ram abruptly moved to the Big Island of Hawaii with some of the boys. Shortly thereafter, he was approved to adopt them, and the boys became brothers. As a family, they lived together on a sprawling but secluded property nestled amongst cane fields, dramatic cliffs overlooking the deep blue Pacific, and rolling hills covered with thick rainforest. It looked like paradise. It was anything but.

Alleged victims told us Ram set up a ranking system for the boys, pitting them against one another in a competition for clothes, food, and his affection.

“You were either a ‘Snoot’ or a ‘Louse,’” explains Jared Legro, who met Ram’s boys at a local surf spot and began spending time at their home. He says that Snoots got special treatment, like desserts or trips to the mall or new surfboards. They were also “rewarded” with a chance to sleep with Ram…

More here: An Alleged Pedophiles Perfect Scam

The video, produced by VICE NEWS out of New York, tells the story of former Hakalau farmer Jay Ram, who adopted dozens of boys in California and Hawaii. He then used the boys for sex and slave labor. Ram has been featured in numerous print stories in Hilo. http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/local-news/former-hakalau-sex-abuse-suspect-located-florida

The video also shows how social services had complaints against Ram dating back almost a decade, but failed to protect the boys in Ram’s care.

The boys were able to sue Ram for abuse because of a landmark Hawaii “window” law that allows victims of child sex abuse to use the civil courts for justice, no matter when the abuse occurred. The law expires on April 24.

Jay Ram LetterMembers of SNAP worked with the victims to help expose Ram and encourage other victims and witnesses to come forward.

When Whales Fly

When whales fly?

When Whales Fly

Saw this picture on Twitter… not sure who the original photographer is.

UPDATE: (Pic by Matthew Thornton, 2012) http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/traveler-magazine/photo-contest/2012/entries/150230/view/ … pic.twitter.com/yDnq9mvQ6Y

What is the Odor of Hawaii?

Earlier today I posted about the Glad Garbage Bags that were coined “Hawaiian Aloha – Aloha Hawaiana” and allegedly smelled like… well I guess Hawaii!

Now I’m seeing Secret Deodorant branded that has the Hawaii odor.  What is the odor of Hawaii?

Secret Hawaii

Secret Hawaii

NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII After 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake in Solomon Islands

TO - CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE STATE OF HAWAII

SUBJECT - TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT

THE MAGNITUDE IS REVISED DOWNWARD FROM 8.3 TO 7.8 IN THIS
MESSAGE.  THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.

THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ACTION REQUIRED.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

   ORIGIN TIME - 1015 AM HST 12 APR 2014
   COORDINATES - 11.3 SOUTH  162.3 EAST
   LOCATION    - SOLOMON ISLANDS
   MAGNITUDE   - 7.8  MOMENT

EVALUATION

 BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS
 NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII. REPEAT. A
 DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO
 TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.

THIS WILL BE THE FINAL STATEMENT ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS
ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED.

What Does “Hawaiian Aloha – Aloha Hawaiana” Smell Like?

I’m curious what these smell like?  But really… “Hawaiian Aloha – Aloha Hawaiana”?

Hawaiian Aloha Glad Bags?

Hawaiian Aloha Glad Bags?

Commentary – Bureau of Interior Wants To Control New Development in North Kona

I’m deeply concerned about the actions of the National Park Service and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These federal agencies intend to control how much new development happens in North Kona it seems.

For example, the National Park Service wants the State of Hawaii to designate the Keauhou aquifer as a water resource management area and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to assign nearly 19,000 acres of land in North Kona as a critical habitat area.  In addition, the
National Park Service was the first entity to intervene in the stalled Queen Kaahumanu Highway phase 2 widening project’s section 106 process in early 2011.

These requests, if approved, will impact all new developments in North Kona. It strips home rule authority from the County of Hawaii and adds an additional layer of bureaucracy to the entitlement process.

I firmly believe the County and State of Hawaii are in a better position to manage our resources than a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington D.C.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona