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    March 2019
    S M T W T F S
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Buddy Perry Soccer Fields Adds New Addition

Shipman Park in Kea‘au is known for people of all ages using the fields to play soccer.  Last year the fields at the park were named the “Buddy Perry Soccer Fields” in honor of the late Justin Masayoshi “Buddy” Perry, after members of the Nā Hoa O Puna Soccer Team petitioned the county to name the fields after Coach Buddy.

On Saturday, March 3, 2018, while the Nā Hoa O Puna U14 soccer team was playing a game, county workers installed a new monument underneath the original sign.

The sign reads:


“Coach Buddy” was a strict and loving soccer coach born on O‘ahu and raised on Maui.  He moved to Hilo to attend UH-Hilo in 1997.  When his first son was old enough to participate in sports, Coach Buddy became a volunteer coach for Puna AYSO.

Living in Puna there were not many options for competitive sports. So years later he Founded Nā Hoa O Puna Soccer Club.

Coach Buddy was diagnosed with ALS (AKA Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2009 but continued on with his tireless devotion to Nā Hoa O Puna Soccer Club.  His love and passion for the sport and the children made him stronger even though his health was deteriorating.

On Decemeber 13, 2015, he passed away peacefully at his home in Puna Leaving the youth of Puna with so much to be thankful for and many life lessons learned.

He was hard on his players knowing it would help them to better individuals on and off the field. As Coach Buddy would say, “Always play hard and never forget where you come from.”

Shipman Park Tennis Courts to Temporarily Close

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation will close the Herbert Shipman Park tennis courts starting Monday, September 19, and keep them closed through Friday, September 23, so it can clean the courts.

shipman-park-signThe tennis courts will reopen for play on Saturday, September 24.

Other areas of Herbert Shipman Park, located in Kea‘au, will remain open while the maintenance work is being performed.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks park patrons for their patience and understanding while it works to maintain Herbert Shipman Park.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or Jason.Armstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Shipman, Kurtistown Park Will be Closed April 14 for Fumigation Treatment

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation will close both the Herbert Shipman Park pavilion in Kea‘au and the Kurtistown Park pavilion on Thursday, April 14, to perform fumigation treatments.

Shipman Park

Other park areas, including ball fields, outdoor athletic courts and parking areas, will remain open. Both pavilions will be available for public use starting at 6 a.m. Friday, April 15.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience the temporary closures may cause and thanks park patrons for their understanding while works to maintain the recreational sites.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

HMSA Acquires Shipman Land for Keaau Office Building

To improve service for East Hawaii residents, the Hawai‘i Medical Service Association (HMSA) will start development of a new office building in the heart of Keaau town on two acres recently acquired from W.H. Shipman, Limited. The relationship between HMSA and Shipman began three years ago when HMSA representatives started looking for land for new customer service, sales, and call center operations.

Artist Rendition of new Keaau HMSA Building

Artist Rendition of new Keaau HMSA Building

“This is an investment in the health care infrastructure on Hawaii Island,” says Steve Van Ribbink, HMSA chief financial and services officer. “HMSA opened its first Hawaii Island office in 1946. Since then, we’ve grown our operations to include 45 employees in three separate offices.” The choice of Keaau shows a continuation and even acceleration of job growth in Puna, noted Shipman President Bill Walter.

“What we’re seeing are good quality jobs coming to Puna, which is important for Keaau and Puna,” said Walter, pointing to the Department of Education school complex and Big Island Bio Diesel as recent examples. “HMSA was looking for a location that would be readily accessible and have the convenience of a small town.”

The new two-story building will be located at the corner of Old Volcano and Keaau-Pahoa Roads. Shipman has retained the front portion of the property to provide retail services.

HMSA Keaau Location

Parking for both the HMSA office and future retail space will be accessible from both Old Volcano Road and the entrance to the Shipman gym.  The 20,000 square-foot complex is expected to be ready for business by the end of  2014 and the building’s design will be reminiscent of the plantation era, with gabled roofs, ample overhang, and breezeways.

“HMSA embraced our desire to have plantation-style buildings in the village,” Walter said. “They understand that what we’re trying to build here is something that will have a lasting and memorable character to it, something that will draw people in and create a destination,” Walter said. “We see HMSA as a company that is going to contribute to building a family-oriented, health-oriented, and friendly, livable community.”

HMSA is a nonprofit, mutual benefit society founded in Hawaii in 1938. It is governed by a community board of directors that includes representatives from health care, business, labor, government, education, clergy, and the community. HMSA is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit hmsa.com.

W.H. Shipman, Limited, is a family-owned company vested in Keaau with more than 16,000 acres and a 130-year history in Puna. Engaged in land stewardship, commercial/industrial development and leasing, including the lease of agricultural lands, W.H. Shipman, Limited’s, growth is at the pace of East Hawaii’s. Building character and quality companies are chief concerns for W.H. Shipman, Limited.


Police Identify 17-Year-Old Drowning Victim Reported in Puna

Police have identified the 17-year-old victim of a possible drowning reported in Puna.

John Joel Nicholas Buentipo (Facebook Profile Picture)

He has been identified as John Joel Nicholas Buentipo of Keaau. On Saturday (April 7) at about 7:25 a.m., Buentipo’s body was recovered by Hawaii Fire Department personnel and was transported to the Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 10:10 a.m.

On Friday (April 6) 2012 at about 1:34 p.m., Buentipo was reportedly with friends who were swimming near Shipman Beach in Keaau when he experienced difficulties in the water and was unable to swim back to shore. It was reported that friends apparently lost sight of Buentipo and rescue personnel and a helicopter from the Hawaii Fire Department responded to the location and conducted a search, which was called off due to darkness. The search resumed Sunday morning and Buentipo’s body was located near the location he was last seen.

The case is currently classified as a coroner’s inquest and autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday (April 10). Detectives from the Criminal Investigation Section are continuing the investigation and do not suspect foul play.

Fun in the Sun Features Keaau Chargers vs. Puna Dodgers

Well today the East Hawaii Academy of Sports presented a “Fun in the Sun” day at Shipman Park in Keaau.

There was laser tag

a climbing wall

a jumping castle

a hamster ball

Keiki Hula Halau’s

The Zoo Choo train was on hand as well

But the real highlight of the day, at least for me, was watching the Keaau Chargers vs. Puna Dodgers T-ball teams play a “Good-Will Exhibition Game” game to start off the 2011 T-Ball Season.

My son played pitcher for the first couple innings.

and was the lead off batter

He managed to score 3 runs today!

I’d like to thank the folks of the East Hawaii Academy of Sports for putting on such a great event today.