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Big Island Police Investigating Hit-and-Run

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a vehicle/pedestrian traffic crash that occurred Thursday evening (February 5.)

HPDBadgeAt approximately 9:00 p.m., Thursday, a 38-year-old Hilo man was walking on Piʻilani Street in Hilo when he was struck by a vehicle resembling a silver or gray Mazda Tribute, which then left the area. This vehicle should have some noticeable front-end damage.

The pedestrian was taken to Hilo Medical Center in critical condition.

Police ask anyone with information about this crash or the whereabouts of this vehicle to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Pahoa Man Drowns at Boiling Pots in Hilo

A Puna man apparently drowned Thursday (February 5) at Boiling Pots in Hilo.

In response to a 5:13 p.m. call, police responded to Boiling Pots, where Fire Department rescue personnel located a submerged man, who was unresponsive, and attempted unsuccessfully to revive him.

Witnesses said the man began struggling after swimming in an area under a waterfall.

He was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was officially pronounced dead.

Police have tentatively identified him as a 33-year-old Pāhoa man but are withholding his name pending positive identification and notification of his family.

Police do not suspect foul play. The case has been classified as a coroner’s inquest.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Boiling pots critical condition

Japan Visitor Dies in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

A 71-year-old male visitor from Japan died yesterday after suffering an apparent heart attack at Thurston Lava Tube in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
Thurston Lava Tube

Acting Chief Ranger John Broward reported that the man was hiking out of the lava tube with a tour group, at approximately 1 p.m. After walking up the steepest section of the trail, the visitor felt fatigued, was short of breath, and sat down to rest.

Shortly after sitting down, he collapsed, lost consciousness, and stopped breathing. Several visiting nurses and a tour operator performed CPR until park rangers arrived with an automated external defibrillator, or AED. Rangers went through three cycles of CPR and AED analysis but the man’s heart was not in a rhythm the machine could detect.

County of Hawai‘i Medic 19 arrived and assumed care. After county medics completed their protocols, a doctor from the Hilo Medical Center pronounced the visitor dead through online medical control.

The name of the victim is being withheld pending further notification of his family.

Olson Trust Buys 321 Acre Hilo Riverfront Estate in Landmark Sale

One of East Hawaii’s largest and most prized estates is now under new ownership.
Perched along the edge of Downtown Hilo bordering Wailuku River and Pukihae Stream, the 321 acre Greer Family Estate was purchased on February 6 by the Edmund C. Olson trust in a landmark sale.
olson estate orchards
Formerly owned by C. Brewer, the expansive ocean view acreage was once destined for high density urban development, before being voluntarily converted to agricultural zoning by David and Doris Greer, who went on to plant thousands of tropical fruit trees on the property.
olson estate waterfall
Kelly Moran of Hilo Brokers, Ltd. was hired to list the acreage for sale in May of 2014.  Moran described the interest he received in the property as “unprecedented,” with buyers from across the U.S. mainland and Asia touring the parcels, and multiple offers leading to a bidding war for the property.
It was Olson who presented the strongest position, acquiring the acreage for $6.25 million.  The purchase represents the third highest land sale in East Hawai`i history.
Olson, who holds large ownership positions in numerous Big Island businesses including the ka`u Coffee Mill, presented a “perfect match,” according to Moran.
“Ed understood the property’s history fully.  He already owned land in the area, and is deeply vested in the community there.”
olson estate
The 321-acre estate is one of the largest exotic fruit orchards in the state of Hawai`i, overlooking thundering waterfalls and commanding views of Hilo Bay.  Thousands of Longan, Lychee, and Rambutan trees are planted on the property, along with rare Mangosteen and several varieties of citrus.  Cattle also graze portions of the estate, which sits just above Wainaku street in Hilo.
Hilo Brokers, Ltd. listed the estate on the market for $7.5 million in late September.
“Properties of this size are almost non-existent this close to Downtown Hilo,” Moran commented, adding, “this was a once-in-a-generation type of sale.”

Family Fun Day to Benefit Pahoa Student Maddie

A Family Fun Day to benefit Madisyn Tamaki will be held on Saturday February 14th from 10am – 3pm at the Hilo Butler Building and Civic Fairgrounds.

Madisyn “was a perfectly healthy third grade student at Pahoa Elementary School who was enjoying her winter break at home with her family. Then, on the morning of December 29, 2014, Madisyn became suddenly ill and is now fighting for her life as she battles acute fulminant myocarditis.
This inflammatory disease attacks the heart muscle and has lead to Madisyn’s cardiac dysfunction. She was flown to Kapi’olani Medical Center to receive care before being transferred to Seattle Children’s Hospital. She is currently there in critical but stable condition and requires the use of life support…”

Click on the poster for more information:

Famil Fun Day

Two 3.3 Magnitude Earthquakes Rattle Volcano Area of Big Island

Two earthquakes registering 3.3 magnitude (UPDATE: one of them has been updated to a 3.4 magnitude quake) on the Richter Scale were registered in the Volcano area of the Big Island this evening.

33 x 2 VolcanoHere is a close up of where they were located:
33 x 3

Here are the links to the latest earthquake reports:

Big Island Chocolate Fest Seeks Culinary Participants

The fourth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival is looking for culinary participants to share sweet and savory tastes at the event’s gala on Saturday, May 9 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i.

Folks enjoying the 2014 Big Island Chocolate Festival

Folks enjoying the 2014 Big Island Chocolate Festival

Participating chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners can also enter the free culinary competition, vying in a variety of judged categories.

Big Island Chocolate Festival 020Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), the event benefits the “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and construction of a community kitchen at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Big Island Chocolate Festival 012

Culinarians interested in participating can signup for free now by filling out the Culinary Participant form at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. 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’s Best Artists Get Ready for 10th Annual Building and Design Expo

Renowned local artists Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker along with Alex Gupton and Penny Gupton – winners of “The Best of The West” award for 2014 will be some of the high profile celebrity exhibitors showing off their best work at the 10th Annual Building and Design Expo put on by The Kohala Kona Chamber of Commerce.

Alex Gupton and Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker show some of their art.

Alex Gupton and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker show some of their art.

This free open to the public event is being help at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa. Starting this Friday evening from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m, Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Tiki Shark Art Inc along with its partner Kona Oceanfront Gallery are cosponsors of this year’s Expo.

“This is the first time we are participating at this event” commented Abbas Hassan Senior VP at Tiki Shark Art Inc “I am sure the artists will add a certain flair that the attendees will certainly enjoy” he added.

“I am putting my best artists to work as a team this weekend” said Mark Hanna – Owner of Kona Oceanfront Gallery. “Its not very often this kind of talent comes together to put on a show for the public….it’s going to be an event not to be missed!”

Be sure to stop by Booth Number 26 and 31, say Aloha to the Artists and let your imagination run wild! Plus pick up some limited edition art made available especially for this event for your home, office or the special someone for Valentine’s Day!

For more information and details of the event, please contact: Jill Weiss – Kona Oceanfront Gallery, 808 334 0037.

Hawaii Department of Education Strengthening Commitment to Hawaiian Programs

After spending two years to create a strategic path forward for Hawaiian Education, the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) shared how it is strengthening its commitment to Hawaiian programs in the public school system.

DOE ReleaseSuperintendent Kathryn Matayoshi today updated the Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) on the collaborative groundwork made since BOE acted on two Hawaiian Education policies.

The board and the department initiated and engaged in a number of community stakeholder meetings over 18 months to listen to the concerns and opportunities for improvements before the enactment of revisions to Hawaiian Education policies 2104 and 2105.

Policy 2104 was changed to incorporate the establishment of the Office of Hawaiian Education to support Hawaiian education’s positive impacts on the educational outcomes of all students. Policy 2105 provides students with Hawaiian bicultural and bilingual education; and the development and administration of the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program (Ka Papahana Kaiapuni) curriculum, standards, and formative and summative assessments. The DOE’s Kaiapuni program is offered at 20 schools and educates more than 2,000 students.

“Over the course of the last year, we have engaged with Hawaiian educators, community leaders, parents and supporters to create a stronger Hawaiian education pathway,” said Superintendent Matayoshi. “We started this process from the beginning with setting a unified vision and taking the necessary actions that set a clear direction.”

With the recent establishment of the Office of Hawaiian Education, the DOE is now accepting applications for a director. The director will lead the incorporation of Hawaiian knowledge, practices and perspectives in all content areas; oversee and coordinate Hawaiian education programs, projects, and initiatives; and provide organizational leadership for growth of Ka Papahana Kaiapuni.

Many stakeholders, who spent the last year providing input in the strategic mission of the Office and the description of the director position, filled the boardroom. Superintendent Matayoshi thanked the stakeholders including Kamehameha Schools and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for their support.

“There has been a lot of thought and shared commitment by our community partners, Chair Don Horner and board member Cheryl Lupenui to ensure that all of our students receive quality lessons that are uniquely provided through Hawaiian Education,” added Superintendent Matayoshi. “We know there is a lot of work ahead of us to ensure that Hawaii Education is aligned to the Hawaii Common Core standards while incorporating cultural knowledge and understanding.”

Community engagement will remain a priority as the DOE continues to advance Hawaiian Education initiatives while addressing the following challenges:

  • System wide valuing of Hawaiian education for all students
  • Developing a manageable scope and focus for the Office of Hawaiian Education
  • Aligning federal and state accountability requirements for Hawaiian language assessments
  • Limited time and resources to implement policies systems-wide and prepare all students before they graduate

Individuals interested in the position of Director of the Office of Hawaiian Education can apply here. Application deadline is February 20, 2015. For more information about Hawaiian Education, please visit www.hawaiipublicschools.org.

Superintendent Matayoshi also briefed the BOE on the development of a Hawaiian language assessment. The DOE, in partnership with the University of Hawaii-Manoa, has developed a field test for Kaiapuni students that measures progress towards mastery of academic standards that is on par with the Smarter Balanced Assessment given in the English language. The field test in language arts and math for students in grades 3 and 4 enrolled in Ka Papahana Kaiapuni schools will be held this spring. DOE has requested a “double testing” waiver from the U.S. Department of Education that would allow students taking the field test to forego the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Many Kaiapuni parents have chosen to “opt out” of English language statewide assessments. When students opt out it has detrimental effects on the school’s Strive HI results. Strive HI is the DOE’s school accountability and improvement system.

“Hawaii has a unique situation of educating students who learn in an official language of the state,” noted Superintendent Matayoshi, who visited with federal officials on this issue in November 2014. “This is not about translating a test, rather offering a quality assessment in the indigenous language of Hawaii.”

Hulihe‘e Palace Remembers the Late Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and Calabash Cousins present Afternoon at Hulihe’e on Sunday, Feb. 15. The 4 p.m. event on the grounds of Hulihe‘e Palace remembers the late Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani.

Hula Dancers dance behind Hulihe'e Palace. (Photo Fern Gavalek)

Hula Dancers dance behind Hulihe’e Palace. (Photo Fern Gavalek)

The event presents the Merrie Monarchs and Hawaiian performing arts by Kumu Hula Etua Lopes and his Halau Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

Princess Ruth (1826-1883) was the half-sister of King Kamehameha IV and V. She inherited Hulihe‘e after the death of her husband, William Pitt Leleiohoku; he was the adopted son of John Adams Kuakini. Kuakini built the palace in 1838 after erecting Moku‘aikaua Church, which sits directly across from the palace on Ali‘i Drive.

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

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

2015 Afternoon at Hulihe‘e schedule: 4-5 p.m. on the palace grounds

All Afternoons at Hulihe’e present hula by Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i Hula Halau and vocals by the Merrie Monarchs. Some events also include the Hulihe’e Palace Band and are noted below. On band dates, only kahiko hula is showcased. Other events offer a full hula show.

  • Jan 18: Band appearance remembering King Charles “Lunalilo” and Aunty I‘olani Luahine
  • Feb 15: Event remembering Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani
  • Mar 15: Band appearance remembering Queen Ka‘ahumanu and Prince Kuhio
  • Apr 19: Event remembering Prince Edward Albert
  • May 17: Event remembering King Kamehameha IV “Alexander Liholiho”
  • Jun 14: Band appearance remembering King Kamehameha I “Paiea”
  • Jul 19: Event remembering John Adams Kuakini
  • Aug 16: Event remembering King Kamehameha III “Kauikeaouli”
  • Sep 20: Band appearance remembering Queen Lili‘uokalani
  • Oct 18: Event remembering Princess Ka‘iulani
  • Nov 15: Band appearance remembering King Kalakaua, Palace Curator Aunty Lei Collins and Bandmaster Charles “Bud” Dant
  • Dec 13: Event remembering Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop

Men Get Lost Trying to View Lava – Fire Department Helicopter Saves the Day

Two male newcomers to the Big Island got lost in a heavily forested area of the Big Island in what appears to be an attempt to see the lava flow.

Hawaii Fire Department reports that the party was lost on their way coming out of the “pristine rainforest” Thursday, January 29, 2015.  On the way out of the forest they couldn’t find the trail they came in and called a friend on their cell phones to report that they were lost.

They stayed overnight in the forest and Hawaii County Fire Department’s Chopper One assisted in rescuing them this morning.

Here is the Fire Departments incident report:

Stupid Lava Hikers

Big Island Police Release Picture of Officer Arrested Today

The Hawaii Police Department has released a mugshot of  Sergeant Marvin Kelly Troutman involved in today’s incident:

Kelly Troutman

Marvin Kelly Troutman

A Hawaiʻi Police Department sergeant has been arrested and charged with four offenses in connection with an early morning incident in Kapaʻau.

In response to a 1:50 a.m. call, officers responded to a home on Kynnersley Road, where it was reported that 62-year-old Marvin Kelly Troutman had pulled the hair of a 55-year-old woman and then threatened her and an 18-year-old man.

When police responded, Troutman reportedly threatened a 44-year-old police officer.

He was arrested and taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Juvenile Aid Section, which is responsible for domestic abuse cases, continued the investigation.

At 3:35 p.m. Thursday (January 29), Troutman was charged with abuse of a family/household member and three counts of terroristic threatening. His bail was set at $4,000.

In addition to the criminal investigation, police have initiated an internal administrative investigation into the incident. Troutman, a sergeant in charge of the Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit, has been placed on administrative leave.

New USGS Pictures Shows Puna Lava Flow Still Active

The leading tip of the June 27th flow has not advanced significantly over the past week, and remains roughly 500 meters (550 yards) upslope of Highway 130, west of the fire and police station.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Breakouts persist upslope, however, and these areas of activity can be spotted in this photograph by small smoke plumes where the lava is burning vegetation on the flow margins.

This comparison of a normal photograph and a thermal image shows the position of active breakouts relative to the inactive flow tip. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image on the right.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

In the thermal image, active breakouts are visible as white and yellow areas. Although active breakouts are absent at the inactive tip of the flow, breakouts are present just a short distance behind the tip, and are also scattered further upslope.

This photograph looks downslope, and shows the proximity of the flow front to the highway.  Click to enlarge

This photograph looks downslope, and shows the proximity of the flow front to the highway. Click to enlarge

A small breakout from the lava tube is burning forest just left of the center of the photograph. In the upper left, thick fume is emitted from Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Near the top of the photograph, the snow-covered peak of Mauna Loa can be seen.

This photograph looks upslope along the ground crack system of Kīlauea's East Rift Zone.  Click to enlarge

This photograph looks upslope along the ground crack system of Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone. Click to enlarge

Big Island Police Sergeant Charged with Abuse and Terroristic Threatening

 

A Hawaiʻi Police Department sergeant has been arrested and charged with four offenses in connection with an early morning incident in Kapaʻau.

Kelly Troutman
In response to a 1:50 a.m. call, officers responded to a home on Kynnersley Road, where it was reported that 62-year-old Marvin Kelly Troutman had pulled the hair of a 55-year-old woman and then threatened her and an 18-year-old man.

When police responded, Troutman reportedly threatened a 44-year-old police officer.

He was arrested and taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Juvenile Aid Section, which is responsible for domestic abuse cases, continued the investigation.

At 3:35 p.m. Thursday (January 29), Troutman was charged with abuse of a family/household member and three counts of terroristic threatening. His bail was set at $4,000.

In addition to the criminal investigation, police have initiated an internal administrative investigation into the incident. Troutman, a sergeant in charge of the Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit, has been placed on administrative leave.

The Hilo Drug Company: A Pharmacy in the Midst of Changing Federal Legislation

In a 2013 program at the Lyman Museum, Mimi Pezzuto of UH-Hilo’s College of Pharmacy addressed the question: “What can we learn about the life of a community by looking at lists of names, dates, and pharmaceutical ingredients?”

Hilo Drug Co., Ltd. near left and American Factors across street. Hawaii State Archives - Date: ca. 1928

Hilo Drug Co., Ltd. near left and American Factors across street. Hawaii State Archives – Date: ca. 1928

Her presentation of the contents of weighty prescription logs from the now-defunct Hilo Drug Company illustrated some of the afflictions suffered by residents of old Hilo town in the years 1894 to 1945, and the substances and practices used to treat them.

On February 23, 2015 once again at the Lyman Museum in Hilo, Mimi is joined by archivist Helen Wong Smith to discuss the differences between Hawai`i and the United States, in the legislation and medical practices of that era, including opium prescriptions and the licensing of kāhuna.

Courtesy of the Lyman Museum

Courtesy of the Lyman Museum

Prescription logs and other local pharmacy ephemera will be available for viewing!

Women’s Legislative Caucus House-Senate Joint Package Focuses on Safety and Well-Being of Women

The Women’s Legislative Caucus, consisting of members from both the state Senate and House, today announced a joint package of measures for the 2015 legislative session.

2015 Women's Legislative Caucus Members

2015 Women’s Legislative Caucus Members

The package of bills cover five areas of concern to women of all ages and economic background, including improving reporting and enforcement of domestic violence and sexual assaults, reducing violence and sexual assaults on college campuses, ensuring women’s access to healthcare, addressing Hawaii’s high cost of living faced by working families, and restoring public trust of Hawaii’s law enforcement community.

“Domestic violence, campus assaults, perceived unsympathetic law enforcement officials—all of these issues remain ongoing concerns for women of all ages from all backgrounds,” said Representative Della Au Belatti (Makiki, Tantalus, Papakolea, McCully, Pawaa, Manoa). “Whenever we think we are making progress, reports like the recent Star Advertiser article on the U.S. Department of Education’s investigation of 55 college campuses across the nation punctures that balloon.”

“It shows we need to continue to press our case for better reporting and enforcement of domestic violence and sexual assault on our schools campuses, for greater transparency and accountability from our law enforcement entities, for better access to health care for women, and for greater support for women who are often more vulnerable to the high cost of living in Hawaii.”

“This year’s caucus package represents the collaborative work of women legislators and the Women’s Coalition, the community counterpart to the Women’s Legislative Caucus,” said Senator Rosalyn Baker (South and West Maui). “These bills address some of the important societal issues facing women and girls – security in home, workplace and community.

“In the package we also highlight our concern for women’s health.  Breast and cervical cancer still goes undetected for too many women in Hawaii.  One of our bills will provide funding to expand screening and treatment services to underserved, at-risk women.  These cancers can be successfully treated and cured, if found early.  This bill’s modest investment will save suffering, healthcare costs and lives.  Together, our package will help to create a safer and healthier environment and contribute to a better quality of life for Hawaii’s women and their families.”

“Our state has the highest cost of living in the nation and we are in dire need of affordable housing,” added Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland (Liliha, Palama, Iwilei, Kalihi, Nuuanu, Pacific Heights, Pauoa, Lower Tantalus, Downtown).  “A 2011 housing study informed the state that we will be 50,000 housing units short by 2016.  This creates a perfect storm for many low-income earners, many of whom are women supporting their families, who are trying to get by paycheck to paycheck and keep a roof over their heads. Amending the income tax credit for low-income renters is one strategic component that will put more money in their pockets to support their families.”

“Different decades of women banding together can make a powerful sisterhood which will make our communities, state and world a safer and better place,” said Representative Cynthia Thielen (Kailua, Kaneohe Bay).

This year’s package is dedicated to the Women’s Coalition in recognition of their commitment and advocacy for women and girls.

The Women’s Coalition, established in 1990 by former State Representative Annelle Amaral, is a coalition of community organizations and volunteers from across the state that raise awareness and advocate for important issues to women and families.  Through its own collaborative processes, the Women’s Coalition assists the Caucus in creating its legislative practice.

The Women’s Legislative Caucus is made up of all the female members of the state House and Senate.  Each year the caucus presents a package of bills relevant to the well-being of women and families and supports the bills throughout the legislative session. Belatti, Baker, Chun Oakland and Thielen serve as co-chairs of the Caucus.

IMPROVING REPORTING & ENFORCEMENT PRACTICES RELATED TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & SEXUAL ASSAULT

HB446/SB384, relating to the Confidentiality Program, Confidentiality Program Surcharge Fund and Confidentiality Program Grant Fund

Establishes the Address Confidentiality Program to help survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault relocate and keep their addresses confidential.  Creates the Address Confidentiality Program Surcharge Fund.

HB447/SB390, relating to domestic abuse, Department of Human Services and Family Court

Removes certain unnecessary and redundant reporting responsibilities of the family courts and the Department of Human Services in cases where temporary restraining orders are sought for alleged domestic abuse involving a family or household member who is a minor or incapacitated person.

HB448/SB386, relating to domestic violence fatality reviews and Department of Health

Requires the Department of Health to conduct reviews of domestic violence fatalities, near-deaths, and suicides.  Requires the DOH to enter into a memorandum of understanding to develop procedures for obtaining information relating to near-deaths resulting from intimate partner assaults.  Requires reviews to commence within one year following the death, near-death, or suicide.  Requires information and recommendations from the review process to be compiled for system reform efforts.

HB453/SB391, relating to psychologists continuing education, ethics and domestic violence

Amends the continuing education requirement for psychologists to include at least three credit hours of ethics training and at least two credit hours of domestic violence training.

HB452/SB393, relating to statewide sexual assault services, the Attorney General, base budget and appropriations

Appropriates funds to increase the base budget of the Department of the Attorney General for statewide sexual assault services for fiscal biennium 2016-2017 to $2,380,000 per fiscal year. Beginning with the 2017-2018 fiscal year, requires the base budget of the Department of the Attorney General for statewide sexual assault services to be at least $2,380,000 per fiscal year.

REDUCING VIOLENCE & SEXUAL ASSAULTS ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES

HB451/SB387, relating to affirmative consent and the University of Hawaii system

Requires the University of Hawaii system to establish and enforce an affirmative consent standard for all policies and protocols relating to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking as a condition of receiving state funds for student assistance.

ENSURING ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE

HB455/SB385, relating to the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program, the Department of Health and appropriations

Appropriates funds to the Department of Health for the breast and cervical cancer control program.

ADDRESSING HAWAII’S HIGH COST OF LIVING FOR WORKING FAMILIES

HB454/SB392, relating to the income tax credit and low-income household renters

Amends income tax credit for low-income household renters to adjust for inflation.  Applies to taxable years beginning after 12/31/2015.

RESTORING PUBLIC TRUST WITH TRANSPARENCY & ACCOUNTABILITY OVER POLICE POLICIES & PROCEDURES

HB449/SB388, relating to county police departments, domestic violence policies and standards of conduct

Requires each county police department to post its policies relating to domestic violence, officer-involved domestic violence, and standards of conduct on its official website.

HB450/SB389, relating to police commissioners, county police commissions, composition and requirements

Amends the composition of the county police commissions to require that three commissioners on each police commission have backgrounds, including equality for women, civil rights, and law enforcement for the benefit of the public.

The public can participate in legislative discussions and follow the progress of the bills by logging onto the Capitol website at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/advreports/advreport.aspx?report=package&pkey=12&year=2015&name=Women%27s+Legislative+Caucus

For more information, please contact:

Senate

  • Senator Rosalyn Baker 808-586-6070
  • Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland 808-586-6130

House of Representatives

  • Representative Della Au Belatti 808-586-9425
  • Representative Cynthia Thielen 808-586-6480

 

Hawaii Coast Guard Officer Convicted for Multiple Violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice

A Coast Guard officer was convicted during a general court-martial for multiple violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice at the Coast Guard Courtroom in the Prince Kuhio Federal Building, Tuesday.

Ens. Johnson Knox

Ens. Johnson Knox

Ens. Johnson C. Knox was found guilty of the following charges:

  • Article 112a – Wrongful use, possession and distribution of multiple controlled substances.
  • Article 80 – Attempting to manufacture MDMA (Ecstasy) and attempt to engage in a prohibited relationship.
  • Article 93 – Cruelty and maltreatment toward a subordinate.
  • Article 128 – Assault consummated by battery.
  • Article 134 – Communicating indecent language to a subordinate.
  • Article 86 – Absence without leave
  • Article 92 – Failure to obey an order or regulation and dereliction of duty.

Knox was sentenced to three years confinement in a military brig and received a dismissal from the Coast Guard.

While awaiting court-martial, Knox served at Coast Guard Base Honolulu. He was assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Kukui at the time of most of the offenses.

Two Children Die in Big Island House Fire

Hawaiʻi Island detectives are at the scene of a fatal fire in Hōlualoa.

At 1:56 a.m. Thursday (January 29), Kona Patrol officers responded to a residential fire on the 76-5200 block of Old Māmalahoa Highway.

When they arrived, the one-story house was fully engulfed in flames. Fire Department personnel extinguished the fire.

Two adults and two children were able to exit the house. Two other children, tentatively identified as an 11-year-old boy and a 6-year-old boy, died in the fire. Their identity is being withheld pending positive identification.
12915structure fire
Police and Fire Department personnel are jointly investigating the cause of the fire.

Police do no suspect foul play. An autopsy will be scheduled to determine the exact cause of death.

UPDATE:
Hawaiʻi Island police have identified the two boys killed in a residential fire in Hōlualoa early Thursday.

They were identified as 6-year-old Kaeden Matsuyama and 11-year-old Dexen Matsuyama.

Results of an autopsy conducted Thursday (January 29) have been deferred pending lab tests.

Department of Parks and Recreation Receives $50,000 State Grant to Control Little Fire Ants

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation has received a $50,000 grant from the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority to control little fire ants at specific park sites.

Little Fire Ant – Queen and worker ant

Little Fire Ant – Queen and worker ant

The Department of Parks and Recreation is one of four Hawai‘i Island organizations selected by the HTA for a grant award under its 2015 Natural Resources Program. Funding will be used to pay the Department’s three-person team of little fire ant control technicians, purchase bait and subsidize other expenses related to the ongoing treatment program.

To meet the grant terms of improving both the visitor experience and resident enjoyment of Hawai‘i’s natural resources, treatment efforts will be conducted at Richardson Ocean Park, Lili‘uokalani Gardens and the Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens through December 2015. The free sites are popular with visitors and residents.

Little fire ants are considered to be one of the world’s worst invasive species. They inflict painful stings that can cause welts in humans and blind animals.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, which administers the grant program, for supporting its efforts to control little fire ants in the public’s parks. Treatment efforts are ongoing at 28 County recreational sites and facilities found to have the highest concentrations of little fire ants.

Hawaii Chief Justice Delivers State of the Judiciary Address

Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald delivered the State of the Judiciary address today at a joint session of the State Senate and House.

Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald

Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald

The mission of the Judiciary is to deliver justice for all.  We do that in many different ways, both in the courtroom and in the community. We ensure that people are treated fairly, whatever their background. We uphold the rights and protections of the constitution, even when doing so may be unpopular.  We provide a place where people can peacefully resolve their disputes, as well as opportunities for them to move forward from the circumstances that brought them before the courts,” said CJ Recktenwald.

One key focus of the State of the Judiciary address was “Access to Justice,” and the Judiciary’s efforts to provide equal justice to all.  CJ Recktenwald thanked the Access to Justice Commission for achieving “amazing results with extremely limited resources,” and the many attorneys who volunteer their time towards this mission.

He highlighted the opening of self-help centers in courthouses across the state.  Since the first center opened in 2011, more than 7,600 people have been assisted, at almost no cost to the public.  The Judiciary is also using technology to expand its reach and accessibility. In partnership with the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii and the Hawaii State Public Library System, interactive software to help litigants fill out court forms, is now available on the Judiciary’s website and libraries statewide.

Additional Judiciary initiatives highlighted in the address include:

  • Expansion of the Veterans Treatment Court to the Big Island
  • First Circuit Family Court’s Zero-to-Three Court, which is designed to meet the needs of infants and toddlers whose parents are suspected of abuse or neglect
  • Permanency Court, which focuses on the needs of kids who are “aging out” of the foster care system
  • Courts in the Community Outreach Program, which gives high school students the opportunity to go beyond textbooks and experience an actual Supreme Court oral argument.

CJ Recktenwald also discussed several new initiatives, including: a HOPE Pretrial Pilot Project, designed to apply the same HOPE strategies to defendants who have been charged with crimes and released on conditions prior to their trials; the Girls Court program, which will be expanding to Kauai next month; and confirmed plans for an environmental court to be implemented as scheduled by July 1, 2015.

CJ Recktenwald also addressed the challenges of the future.  One of the challenges he discussed was the need to improve infrastructure and to provide a new courthouse to meet the needs of the growing West Hawaii community.

“Currently in West Hawai‘i, court proceedings are being held in three different locations, in buildings that were not designed as courthouses, which in turn has led to severe security, logistical, and operational problems,” described CJ Recktenwald.  “To address these concerns, we have proposed building a centralized courthouse in Kona,” he added.

The Judiciary launched a new website this week dedicated to the Kona Judiciary Complex Project.  This website displays the preliminary design plans, provides project updates, and welcomes feedback from the public.

CJ Recktenwald concluded the address by thanking the more than 1,800 justices, judges, and judiciary staff “who put their hearts and souls” into making equal justice for all a reality each and every day.  He also thanked all the volunteers and partners in the community and other branches of government who work side-by-side with the Judiciary towards fulfilling the mission of providing justice for all in Hawaii.