Hawaii Island Police Renewing Request for Information About a Puna Robbery Last Week

Hawaiʻi Island police are renewing their request for information about a robbery and auto theft last week in the Leilani Estates subdivision in Puna.

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A 41-year-old man reported that sometime between midnight and 3 a.m. on August 20, he was assaulted outside his house on Maile Street and a car was stolen from the driveway.

The attacker is described as a local male, average height and weight with medium-length dark hair and a “local accent.” The car is described as a blue 2005 Kia Optima four-door sedan, license plate ZAT 755.

Police ask anyone with information about this case to contact Detective Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or nserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Highway 130 Shoulder Conversion Project – Clarifications

I posted the following comment on the Facebook group “Bike Commuter of Hilo“:

As a former member of the Keaau Pahoa Advisory Group (KPAG) on Highway 130… I can tell folks that the last drawing I saw on this Highway widening plan that is starting now is supposed to have a Bike lane.

Whether it will have one or not is yet to be seen. I don’t have much confidence that the State really listened to us KPAG Members to well as they are installing the Pahoa Round-a-bout at a location we didn’t want!

The intent of the project is to improve safety and traffic flow by converting the existing T-intersection into a single-lane modern roundabout. Construction work time is estimated at approximately 12 months.

The intent of the project is to improve safety and traffic flow by converting the existing T-intersection into a single-lane modern roundabout. Construction work time is estimated at approximately 12 months.

Doug Zang (not speaking on behalf of the DOT or SSFM) weighed in on my comment and stated the following:

Damon, some clarification is needed. As you know, I was actively involved in that project as well. The DOT has a very complicated and confusing way of implementing and funding the projects along that road, and given how long things take, I can understand the confusion.

The project that is being started this week is the “Shoulder Conversion Project.” It is NOT the same thing as the project you were involved with as a KPAG member. Yes, same highway. Yes, construction. NOT the same project.

The Shoulder Conversion Project is a short-term modification to ONLY the segment of highway between the Humane Society and Shower Drive. The only thing it will do is improve the shoulder on the mauka side of the highway so that people can drive on the mauka shoulder during the PM rush hour much as they drive on the makai shoulder during the AM rush hour today. All other hours of the day, the highway will STILL be only 2 lanes wide, and motorists will NOT be using the shoulder.

In essence, HDOT needs to widen the Waipahoehoe Bridge so that the shoulder extends at a full width across that bridge. (That is the reason the shoulder is not already being used today for that purpose in the afternoon.) So you can think of this as strictly a short-term fix until the full widening of the highway, all the way from Keaau to Pahoa, takes place.

HDOT did a *totally separate* environmental assessment for that shoulder conversion project, and it was always on a timeline ahead of the long-term widening of the highway (which is what you and I were both involved with, and the different environmental assessment that I wrote). The reason for this has to do with getting available funding. It was easier for HDOT to get funding for the shoulder conversion and make things somewhat better in the short-term. KPAG *was* told about that project, repeatedly, and told that THAT project was on a faster timeline than ours. You may not have been around for that discussion as I recall you were not present for probably the last three KPAG meetings.

In the long term, the project that both you and I were involved with WILL INDEED be wider (4 lanes, not two) and have shoulders that WILL serve bicyclists and pedestrians. THAT project, by the way, is still being designed, so it is some time off in the future before that design gets finalized and constructed.

The contact over at the HDOT office in Hilo that is involved with the Shoulder Conversion is named Julann Sonomura. If you call her (feel free to tell her I referred you) she can explain all this to you in greater detail.

Sorry for the novel, everyone, but I felt this needs to be made clear so the public understands. From the standpoint of bicyclists in East Hawaii, the Shoulder Conversion is good news but also not-so-good news. During the PM rush hour, the shoulder heading towards Pahoa will be filled with cars (much as it is in the AM heading the other way), so it will not be a place bicyclists want to be. All the OTHER hours of the day, the shoulder will be much better than now.

Governor Abercrombie Releases $18.7 Million for Capital Improvement Projects

Governor Abercrombie announced the release of more than $18.7 million in capital improvement project (CIP) and grant funds for priority repairs and improvements at state facilities and public schools, as well as installation of a new photovoltaic system for a charter school on Kauai.

“Our economy is getting stronger, and capital improvement projects are key to maintaining our positive momentum while enriching state services, improving public areas and enhancing learning environments throughout Hawaii,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “A portion of these funds will go toward the installation of a new photovoltaic system at Ke Kula Niihau O Kekaha Charter School on Kauai, allowing the school and its K through 12 students to meet 100 percent of their classrooms’ energy needs.”

Allotment of funds for the following priority projects, identified by members of the state Legislature, has been approved by the Governor:
Kauai High School

Education:

$9,895,000 – Kauai High School Gymnatorium, Kauai – Construction for a new gymnatorium (gymnasium/auditorium) building, which will include a wrestling room, boys and girls locker rooms, an athletic director’s office, and other support spaces

$2,500,000 – Heeia Elementary School, Oahu – Design and construction to provide covered play courts and help alleviate drainage issues due to frequent rain common in the Kaneohe area

$1,000,000 – Campbell High Athletic Track and Field Complex, Oahu – Design and construction for improvements to the existing cinder track and a new press booth; the project will also start design for a new synthetic track

$180,060 – Ke Kula Niihau O Kekaha Charter School Photovoltaic System, Kauai – Capital improvement grant to Aha Punana Leo, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, for planning, design and construction of a new 30 kilowatt photovoltaic system to supply 100 percent of the charter school’s power

Other

$2,597,000 – Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) CIP Administrative Services, statewide – Financing for wages and fringe benefits of DLNR’s project-funded positions for fiscal year 2014

$2,000,000 –  Puhawai Culvert, Oahu – Construction of culverts and other related drainage improvements to alleviate flooding along Puhawai Road in Waianae (The Lualualei Flats area is prone to flooding due to insufficient drainage infrastructure, lack of stream maintenance, and illegal dumping in streams and ditches)

$300,000 – Hilo Harbor Mooring Buoys, Hawaii Island – Construction to install five-day use mooring buoys (DMBs) as mitigative measures to comply with permit requirements for the dredging of Hilo Harbor (DLNR will install DMBs as part of the existing program to provide mooring opportunities in areas of high vessel traffic to reduce damage to natural resources from anchors)

$300,000 – Kewalo Basin Jetty Riprap Wall Repair, Oahu – Design to repair the riprap wall, located in a popular surfing area, which has been damaged by wave action creating potential danger to individuals

 

Governor Abercrombie Shares Draft Marriage Bill

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today provided state legislators and news media a marriage bill drafted by the state Attorney General. The bill is based on Senate Bill 1369, introduced in the 2013 regular session, and was drafted in collaboration with legislators, staff and stakeholders.
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“We are doing our due diligence to remain open, transparent and accessible on this important issue of equality,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Over the coming days, I along with the Lt. Governor, Attorney General and staff will be available to legislative caucuses. Next week, it is my hope to meet with House and Senate leadership to discuss the possibility of a special session.”

View the draft bill here.

Wordless Wednesday – Free Camper Top

I’m always browsing the free stuff on Craigslist and this ad kind of had me laughing:

Camper Top

Camper Top, been sitting under weeds for a while, window hinges broken … still seems solid … come pull it down and it’s yours… http://honolulu.craigslist.org/big/zip/4027984164.html

Hawaii Island Police Searching for 26-Year-Old Puna Man Missing Since July

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing 26-year-old Puna man.

Zairon Leon Frazier

Zairon Leon Frazier was last seen in the Seaview Estates area in late July and has not been seen since.

He is described as African-American, about 6-foot-6, 350 pounds with brown eyes. Although he usually wears dreadlocks, he may have cut them off.

His family is concerned for his safety and well-being.

Police ask that anyone with information on this case or who may know Frazier’s whereabouts call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Dean Uyetake at 961-2379 or deyetake@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Man Wanted on Extradition Warrant Located in Oregon

A 38-year-old man wanted on an extradition warrant has been located.

Jaycen Robert Munoz

Jaycen Robert Munoz

Jaycen Robert Munoz, who is wanted by the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake in Utah for unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old, was found Tuesday in Oregon. He will be extradited back to Utah.

 

Hawai‘i International Film Festival Adds Screenwriting and New Media Programs To This Year’s Festival

Hawai‘i International Film Festival (HIFF), Hawai‘i’s premier international film event – together with the Creative Industries Division (CID) of the Hawai‘i state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) – is launching new tracks in Screenwriting and Broadband Content as part of Creative Lab, which will hold Accelerator Programs in each of these two areas during HIFF in October in order to accelerate the growth of Hawai‘i’s creative content industry.

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Through hands-on mentorship, panels and workshops taught by mentors from across the globe in writing, acting, music, new media and finance, Creative Lab provides entrepreneurs with the business and creative skill sets necessary to profit from their intellectual property and expand their distribution channels.

“Our vision is to establish Hawaii as a center of creative development, providing business opportunities in media, music and the arts,” said Robert Lambeth, HIFF deputy director.

“The program provides an environment to connect, collaborate and create content for export on multiple platforms, through guidance from industry leaders who are committed to mentoring talent.” said CID chief officer, Georja Skinner.

An impressive collection of organizations and strategic partners is collaborating to expand the scope of the Creative Lab @ HIFF program, which was launched at HIFF in 2012. Leading industry organizations participating in the program include the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW); Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA); SAG Indie; Hawaii Academy of Recording Artists (HARA); the State of Hawai‘i Film Office and Hawai‘i’s county Film Offices.

This year’s Creative Lab @ HIFF launches a Writers Accelerator in partnership with the Diversity Program of the Writers Guild of America West. “The WGAW Diversity Department is pleased to support the Creative Lab program in collaboration with the Hawai‘i International Film Festival and the state’s Creative Industries Division,” said Kimberly Meyers, WGAW’s Director of Diversity. “This annual program is an important outreach effort to accelerate the careers of aspiring television, film and new media writers. Our WGAW members are looking forward to serving as mentors to program participants, helping develop future writers and WGAW members at the outset of their careers.”

Additional collaborators include the executive producer and writers from CBS Productions – “Hawaii Five-0”; National Academy of Recording Artists and Sciences (NARAS); American Society of Composers; American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP); and the Hawai‘i Association of Media Artists (HAMA).

Creative Lab @ HIFF is led by Director Michael Andres Palmieri, a Los Angeles-based producer, writer and instructor, whose executive, producing and writing career spans motion pictures, television and new media. “I am thrilled to be working with HIFF, the State of Hawaii, and our partners and sponsors, to fulfill this vision of developing Hawaii as a world-class destination for creative talent in media, content and music seeking the perfect environment to collaborate and accelerate their projects and careers.” Palmieri has a long history in Hawai‘i – his first producing credit was on the feature “Six Days, Seven Nights” which was shot on Kaua‘i, and he was the Director of the Screenwriting Program for the Maui Writers Conference and Retreat for five years. He has mentored writers, taught and lectured at USC, UCLA, Chapman University, Columbia College, American Film Institute (AFI), and the University of Texas – Los Angeles.

Creative Lab @ HIFF Writers Accelerator – October 16 to 20, 2013

HIFF is seeking writers and storytellers to submit material to participate in the four-day intensive Accelerator program. A final 12 writers will be selected by a panel of industry professionals to participate. Writers in film, television, mobile and new media who have a treatment, script or concept to develop are encouraged to apply. Submissions will be accepted through Wednesday, September 11. For details visit www.hiff.org/education/creative-lab/writer-accelerator.

One-on-one instruction and mentoring by a team of industry professionals in features, television and new media include Palmieri, along with WGAW writers Dennis Leoni (“Resurrection Blvd”), Julia Cho (“Betrayal”) and Ligiah Villalobos (“Under the Same Moon”) and Peter Lenkov (CBS Productions’ Hawaii Five-0).

Up to three top writers will be selected as finalists to attend a week-long career-building program in Los Angeles, including a week in the Writers Room at CBS Productions’ Hawaii Five-0, attending WGAW workshops and meetings with leadership, as well as meeting other industry insiders designed to network these writers with people who can help advance their career goals.  All 12 writers will continue to hone their craft through a 12-month follow-up coaching process conducted by Palmieri.

In addition to the four coaches, this year’s keynote speaker will be Academy Award-winning  actor, director, producer and writer Bobby Moresco (“Million Dollar Baby” and “Crash”), who will partake in a one-on-one conversation open to general audiences entitled “A Conversation With…” as well as meet with the 12 participants. Moresco recently finished writing the feature “Hubris” for Universal, to be directed by Academy Award nominee Todd Field (“Little Children,” “In the Bedroom”). Also slated for production in 2013 is “Castro’s Daughter,” a script he wrote with Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz, to be directed by Academy Award nominee Michael Radford (“Il Postino”).

Creative Lab @ HIFF Broadband Accelerator – October 10 to 12, 2013

Broadband, as defined by the Producers Guild of America, is the platform whose primary distribution outlet is the Internet. The Broadband Accelerator is a three-day immersion workshop for up to eight pre-qualified participants with one-on-one instruction and mentoring by Palmieri, along with creatives Bernie Su, creator of the webseries “The Lizzie Diaries,” Wendy Jo Carlton, creator of the webseries “Easy Abby,” and Laura Allen, Yahoo! Head of Production for Third Party – Video & Original Programming.

Participants in the Broadband Accelerator will be instructed and coached on writing and producing, as well as intellectual property protection, licensing, marketing, distributing and monetizing content on the Internet and mobile platforms.

Up to two participants will be selected from the eight to participate in a week-long immersion program in Los Angeles in which they will visit and meet with Guild representatives and other industry insiders. All eight participants will be coached for an additional 12 months by Palmieri.

Writers/Producers/Directors/Talent interested in applying for the Broadband Accelerator are asked to visit www.hiff.org/education/creative-lab/broadband-accelerator and apply. Applications will be accepted until Wednesday, September 11.

The Modern Honolulu is the hotel partner for Creative Lab @ HIFF.

Additional programs to be offered by Creative Lab @ HIFF will be announced shortly. They will include:

  • Producers Accelerator
  • Sound X Vision
  • Acting Workshops

For more information about Creative Lab @ HIFF and HIFF from October 10-20, visit www.hiff.org.

 

Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory Update

Halemaʻumaʻu and HVO:

Thermal overflight for the park service to map all the hot cracks  around sulfur banks/volcano house/visitor center

Thermal overflight for the park service to map all the hot cracks around sulfur banks/volcano house/visitor center

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Jaggar Museum are located near the summit of Kīlauea and are visible atop the cliff to the right. They are about 2 km (1.25 miles) north-northwest of the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu, fuming (but not directly visible) at the left edge of the photo.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō and northeast spatter cone:

Early morning view of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, looking toward the southwest:

The fume rising from the bottom of the photo marks the trace of the lava tube carrying lava to the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow front.

The fume rising from the bottom of the photo marks the trace of the lava tube carrying lava to the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow front.

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is fed from a spatter cone on the northeast edge of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater.

Today, this spatter cone, which is about 6 m (20 ft) tall, was weakly spattering from it top.

Today, this spatter cone, which is about 6 m (20 ft) tall, was weakly spattering from it top.

Lava Collapse at Halemaʻumaʻu Triggers Small Explosion

At 9:48 PM on Friday, August 23, a collapse of a piece of the wall above the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu triggered a small explosion.

The explosion bombarded the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu around the old visitor Overlook with molten gobs of spatter as big as dinner plates.

The explosion bombarded the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu around the old visitor Overlook with molten gobs of spatter as big as dinner plates.

The explosion bombarded the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu around the old visitor overlook with molten gobs of spatter as big as dinner plates. Dense lithic fragments from the collapsed wall, and at least as large as a baseball, were also thrown back out of the vent and onto the rim. These images were recorded by a webcam positioned on the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu, about 120 m (395 ft) above the lake surface.

Photos courtesy of Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory

Photos courtesy of Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory

The smaller time-stamp at the upper left corner is the correct acquisition time (the larger time-stamp is based on the camera clock, which drifts over time).

Free Hawaii Island Health Screenings in September

Free Health Screenings open to the public will be happening on the Big Island from September 6 until Sept. 29, with 12 screenings available at 12 different locations.Free Health ScreeningsThis is a WE …a hui for health Event. WE … a hui for health is a program based on Hawai`i values and designed `Ohana Health Plan and Project Vision Hawaii beginning in late 2010. Beginning in January, 2011,WE has provided health screenings in over thirty of our state’s least-served and most needy communities.

Hawaii Island Police Searching for Puna Woman Wanted in Connection with Burglary and Domestics

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 40-year-old Puna woman wanted in connection with a reported burglary and domestic incident in Kurtistown on August 16.

Mary Lolita Santos

Mary Lolita Santos

Mary Lolita Santos of Mountain View is also wanted on a $5,000 bench warrant for a felony theft case. She is described as 5-foot-2, 147 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Police ask anyone who knows her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Officer Edwin Namohala at 961-2373.

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.

 

Hawaii County Council District 4 Office Moving – New Office Will Now Be in District 4

The Hawaii County Council District 4 office that has been located in the Pahoa Shopping Center for the last four years is moving to the old Pahoa Police Station.

Since the County of Hawaii already owned the old Pahoa Police Station it makes sense for the county to quit paying rent on a place at the shopping center and move into a vacant building  that is actually in District 4 instead of District 5.

County workers move furniture from the old office

County workers move furniture from the old office

A note on Councilman Ilagans door read “If you are in need of assistance during the week of August 26th, please contact the Hilo County Council Office at (808) 961-8255.  Please Leave us a message at this number until our temporary office is set up at the Hilo County Building. Mahalo”.

District 4 Office Closure Note

Back in 2010 I asked if anyone knew what would be happening with the old police station… Now I guess we know!

New District 4 Office

New District 4 Office

Located at 15-2879 Old Government Road (Main Street Pahoa) the new office has lots of parking available.

A sneak peak inside the office

A sneak peak inside the office

The county workers that were on hand moving furniture into the office did not know when the councilman would physically move into the new office, however, they mentioned I could call his office and ask them… but I’m not too worried about it.

September Schedule – After Dark in the Park at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors in September. All programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and your $2 donation helps support park programs.  Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

Haku Mele: A Beginner’s Hawaiian Songwriter’s Retreat. Join Hawaiian music, language and haku mele experts, Kenneth Makuakāne and Kaliko Beamer-Trapp, to create original Hawaiian compositions through interactive presentations and small group sessions in haku mele and leo. Class is free and limited to 20 participants. To reserve a space, contact Elizabeth Bell at 985-6019, or email Elizabeth_bell@nps.gov no later than Aug. 30. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.
When: Sat. and Sun., Sept. 7 & 8, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days
Where: Environmental Educational Center

Escalante

Grand Staircase-Escalante photo by Jay Robinson

Grand Adventures in the Southwest Desert. Some of the world’s most sublime landscapes await exploration in southern Utah and northern Arizona – where deep canyons, painted mesas, hoodoos and arches are sculpted from layers of rock deposited over eons. Join Park Ranger Jay Robinson on a raft journey into the heart of the Grand Canyon National Park, which like Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Encounter bighorn sheep, condors and lizards, and sleep beneath the stars with hairy scorpions, tarantulas and rattlesnakes! Explore narrow slot canyons and the slick rock deserts of Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks and the newly created Vermillion Cliffs and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., Sept. 10 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

An Evening of Music with Hilo One. Come enjoy Hawaiian music by entertainers Hilo One, featuring Likeke Teanio (lead ‘ukulele, slack key guitar), Aaron Agres (electric upright bass), and Russell Mauga (12-string guitar), as they enliven the evening with their wonderful instrumentation and vocals. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.
When: Wed., Sept. 18, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Ulana Lauhala. Learn the art of weaving with leaves of the pandanus tree, or hala, from gathering the material, preparation, to the final product. Join practitioners Amy Kaawaloa and Malia Macabio as they continue to perpetuate this beautiful Hawaiian craft and share the intricacies of weaving lauhala. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Kahuku Junior Ranger Day. Keiki of all ages are invited to join park rangers and explore the park’s southernmost section of Kahuku, in Ka‘ū. Connect the culture, people, and ‘āina through ‘oli, GPS, and compass on a short and easy walk. See, smell and touch a variety of kalo as Sam and Edna Baldado share their love for the many varieties and uses of this native staple food. Bring a refillable water bottle, sunscreen, hat, long pants, jacket and closed-toe shoes. At least one adult must accompany the children. The event and lunch are free, but registration is required. Call (808) 985-6019 by Sept. 24. Co-sponsored by Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center.
When: Sat., Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: The Kahuku Unit is located on the mauka (uphill) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5. Meet near the parking area.

Governor Abercrombie Appoints Two to State Ethics Commission

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the appointments of David O’Neal of Waipahu and Ruth D. Tschumy of Honolulu to the State Ethics Commission, effective immediately.

David O'Neal

David O’Neal

“David is a respected and dedicated leader in the community, and Ruth has likewise contributed to our state as an educator, writer, and active member of many nonprofit boards and state task forces,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “They possess the keen intellect and integrity required of ethics commissioners as they guide our state’s officials, employees and citizenry on ethics policies.

David O’Neal, a member of the Waipahu Neighborhood Board since 2010, is the general manager of the Mililani Town Association, which serves 16,000 households. Previously, he started, owned and operated Shop and Ship Hawaii LLC, served as president of Healthcare Director Partners LLC from 2001 to 2008, and was the owner/partner of Hawaii Dental Partners / Akamai Dental from 2001 to 2011. As a volunteer, he has served as vice president of the Waipahu Community Foundation since 2009 and a member of the Citizen Advisory Committee of the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization and the School Community Council of the Kaleiopuu Elementary School.

O’Neal earned a bachelor’s degree in health administration with a minor in accounting from the University of Hawaii at West Oahu.

Ruth Tschumy

Ruth Tschumy

Ruth D. Tschumy has served as chair of the State of Hawaii Charter School Review Panel and president of the Mediation Center of the Pacific. A former educator, administrator, mediator and consultant, she is well known for the education columns she wrote for the former Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Honolulu Advertiser. Tschumy has provided consultation services to schools and nonprofit organizations, including the Hawaii Educational Policy Center, the Honolulu Academy (now Museum) of Arts, the Hawaii Theatre Center, and numerous schools and educational associations such as the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools.

Tschumy earned a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was the recipient of the Klingenstein Fellowship at Teachers College, Columbia University.

The State Ethics Commission administers and enforces State of Hawaii governmental ethics and lobbying laws. The commission’s duties include issuing advisory opinions, investigating and considering charges of alleged violations of the ethics and lobbying laws, and educating state government officials and employees and the public on matters relating to ethics in government.

Big Island Police Searching for 38-Year-Old Man Wanted on Extradtion Warrant

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 38-year-old man wanted on an extradition warrant.

Jaycen Robert Munoz

Jaycen Robert Munoz

Jaycen Robert Munoz is wanted by the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake in Utah for unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old.

He is described as Caucasian, 6-feet tall, 150 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last known to live on Olu Street in Hilo.

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.

Kohala Swimming Pool Temporarily Closed

A malfunctioning pump has forced the temporary closure of Hawai‘i County’s Kohala Swimming Pool.

Hawaii County Logo

The Department of Parks and Recreation is analyzing the problem so it may identify the cause and the fastest way of correcting it. It’s expected that the pool can be reopened next week.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience the unexpected closure may cause and thanks pool users and the general public for their patience while the problem is fixed.

Swimmers may use the Kona Community Aquatic Center or the Honoka‘a Swimming Pool. Operating times, contact numbers and other pool information are listed under the Aquatics section of the Department’s website, http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/parks-and-recreation/.

For more information, please contact Mason Souza, Recreation Director, at 961-8740.

 

Pahoa Community Pool Finally Reopens

An improved Pāhoa Community Aquatic Center was reopened this morning following completion of a $1.5 million renovation project that has enhanced the operation and usability of the popular swimming pool.
 Pahoa Pool
Pastor Alan Tamashiro delivered the blessing as anxious swimmers waited to enter the pool for the first time since the Department of Parks and Recreation closed it temporarily in January so construction work could begin.
Roof-mounted solar heating panels have been installed to warm the pool water, while new circulation pumps and a variable-frequency drive motor will reduce energy use and start-up time following an electrical outage.
Pahoa Pool Solar Panels
Isemoto Contracting Co. Ltd. also enlarged the equipment building to accommodate the new pumps, and repaired leaks to the pool basin, surge gutter and drain lines.  County employees performed various maintenance tasks that included roof repairs, painting and refinishing the keiki pool’s play fountain and tiling.
Pahoa Pool County Worker
Mayor Billy Kenoi thanked the public for its patience while the renovation work was occurring at a recreational facility he said serves as a pu‘uhonua or safe haven for families.
He was joined by Puna Councilman Zendo Kern, a fellow Puna native who revealed the first time he jumped from a diving board was a the Pāhoa Community Aquatic Center.
“This is such a needed thing in Puna,” Kern said. “It’s so used.”
New lockers have been installed as well

New lockers have been installed as well

 To accommodate that demand, the Department is implementing new operating hours starting Tuesday, August 27. The pool will be open weekends from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except for a lunchtime closure from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Weekday hours will be 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
For additional pool information, please call Cassandra at 965-2700 or check the Aquatics section of the Department’s website, http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/parks-and-recreation/.

Big Island Police Arrest Three with Drug Offenses Following Traffic Stop in North Kohala

Two men and a woman have been charged with drug offenses following a traffic stop in North Kohala.

Patrol officers stopped the car in Kapaʻau on Thursday because of a seat belt violation. During the stop, it was determined that the vehicle had been reported stolen. Police also determined that the driver and one of his two passengers were wanted on bench warrants.

All three occupants were arrested and taken to the Kona police cellblock for further investigation. During the course of the investigation, police located 6.4 grams of a crystalline substance and paraphernalia associated with methamphetamine use in the car.

Nakalohe Gersaba

Nakalohe Gersaba

Rico Echiverri

Rico Echiverri

Friday afternoon, Vice Section detectives charged the driver, 22-year-old Nakalohe Gersaba, who has no permanent address, his male passenger, 36-year-old Rico Echiverri, who also has no permanent address, and his female passenger, 24-year-old Zerica Bell-Ching of Kapaʻau, with promoting a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia.

Zerica Bell-Ching

Zerica Bell-Ching

Gersaba was also charged with driving without a license, driving without insurance and failure to appear. His bail was set at $37,300. Police continue to investigate a possible charge against him for unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.

Echiverri was additionally charged with contempt of court and violating probation. His bail was set at $135,000.

Bell-Ching’s bail was set at $7,000.

All three were held at the cellblock over the weekend pending their initial court appearance on Monday (August 26).

Talk Story with Danny & Anna Akaka and Friends

A talk story event with Danny & Anna Akaka and friends will be held as a fundraiser for the Kahilu Theater on Sunday, September 8th at the theater:Kahilu Theater Fundraiser