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Police Release Picture of Missing Fisherman

Devin Johnson

Big Island police have opened a missing person case in connection with a missing fisherman.

Devin Johnson, 23, of Kamuela was last seen on a commercial fishing boat 60 miles south of Kona. He and his brother were taking turns tending the lines while the other slept. When Johnson’s brother woke up at 2 a.m. Friday (November 13), he discovered that Johnson was missing.

The U.S. Coast Guard and sailors on private vessels are searching for him. He is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-11, 160 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts call Acting Lieutenant Myra Iwamoto at 326-4646, extension 281, or 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. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hilo and Honolulu Joins List of “Playful City USA” Communities – Celebrate at Community “Play Day” on November 21

Media Release:

Hilo will celebrate its national designation as a “Playful City” on Saturday, November 21, with a community Play Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mo‘oheau Park.

Hilo was selected one of the Playful City USA communities by KaBOOM! a national non-profit dedicated to bringing play back into children’s lives.

Saturday’s free community celebration will include games, music, interactive fitness demonstrations and more, sponsored by the County of Hawai ‘i Healing Our Island grant fund. Everyone is invited to this earth-friendly, drug- and alcohol-free event.  (See schedule below.)

Hilo is one of 39 communities across the nation that were designated Playful Cities for the first time this year. All 93 cities created and implemented programs to positively impact childhood wellness, public safety and quality of life to achieve the designation.

Each of the 2009 Playful City USA communities demonstrated creative commitments to the cause of play in the areas of quantity, quality and access. Key to Hilo ’s selection was the work of  Ka Hui Pa`ani, a partnership between the County and private organizations  and individuals who recognize Hilo ’s long history of play and recreation.

Despite budget challenges, the 93 Playful Cities have taken innovative approaches to make play a priority to ensure their children have the time and space they need to play.

“We are definitely committed to providing the resources our children need to develop into good citizens even in tough economic times, and I recognize the value of safe, convenient and adequate play spaces,” said Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi. “I certainly want to commend Ka Hui Pa`ani for their dedication and commitment that made this national recognition possible.”

According to Darell Hammond, KaBOOM! CEO and Co-founder, “Our country is facing two monumental deficits: a lack of unstructured play among children and a lack of resources to address this very issue.

“ Hilo took a stand and determined that the future of their community—their children—deserve a commitment to the cause of play,” Hammond said. “This is an investment in the future, not an expenditure, and cities and towns across the country can replicate initiatives from these Playful City USA communities so that they too can bring play back into the lives of their children.”

For more information, call, 935-8850.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mo‘ oheau Park , Hilo

11 a.m. – Zumba Interactive Demo

11:30 a.m. – Martial Arts Interactive Demo

12 noon – Acroyoga Interactive Demo

12:30 p.m. – Sign Language Dance

12:40 p.m. – Pauline Victoria, inspirational speaker

1 p.m. – Playful City USA Designation Ceremony

1:15 p.m. – Shell Shock performance

1:30 p.m. – DJ and band

1:45 p.m. – Gong fuball, dj and band

2:15 p.m. – Lobo Del Mar

2:45 p.m. – DJ and band

3 p.m. – Wrap it up!

Here is a list of the other cities participating:

Allentown, Pa.
Ankeny, Iowa (3rd year)
Annapolis, Md.
Arlington, Texas (2nd year)
Atlanta, Ga. (3rd year)
Auburn, Wash.
Baldwin Park, Calif.
Bismarck, N.D.
Bloomington, Ind. (2nd year)
Brentwood, Calif. (2nd year)
Casa Grande, Ariz.
Cerritos, Calif. (2nd year)
Chandler, Ariz. (3rd year)
Columbia, Ill.
Columbus, Ohio
Commerce City, Colo.
Coolidge, Ariz. (2nd year)
Coral Gables, Fla.
Corpus Christi, Texas
Creedmoor, N.C. (3rd year)
Danville, Va. (2nd year)
Delray Beach, Fla.
DeRidder, La. (2nd year)
Dothan, Ala. (3rd year)
Durham, N.C.
Encinitas, Calif. (2nd year)
Euless, Texas
Evans, Colo.
Findlay, Ohio (2nd year)
Fishers, Ind.
Gilbert, Ariz. (3rd year)
Grand Prairie, Texas (2nd year)
Green River, Wyo. (2nd year)
Greenbelt, Md. (3rd year)
Greensboro, N.C.
Greenville, N.C.
Hamilton, N.J.
Henderson, Nev. (2nd year)
Hernando, Miss. (2nd year)
Hilo, Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii

Huntsville, Ala. (2nd year)
Indianapolis, Ind.
Kenner, La. (3rd year)
Kerman, Calif. (3rd year)
Killeen, Texas
La Mesa, Calif. (2nd year)
Lake Charles, La. (3rd year) Lake Worth, Fla. (3rd year)
Landfall, Minn. (2nd year)
Laramie, Wyo.
Las Cruces, N.M.
Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. (2nd year)
Laurel, Md.
Longview, Wash. (3rd year)
Mercer Island, Wash. (2nd year)
Mesa, Ariz.
Miami Lakes, Fla.
Missoula, Mont.
Murray, Ky. (2nd year)
Nampa, Idaho (2nd year)
New Lenox, Ill. (3rd year)
New Port Richey, Fla.
New Roads, La. (3rd year)
New York City, N.Y. (2nd year)
Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Norfolk, Va. (3rd year)
Northglenn, Colo. (2nd year)
Orlando, Fla. (2nd year)
Palm Bay, Fla. (2nd year)
Parkland, Fla. (2nd year)
Phoenix, Ariz. (3rd year)
Portsmouth, Ohio (3rd year)
Richmond, Ind.
Riverside, Calif. (2nd year)
Safety Harbor, Fla. (2nd year)
St. Petersburg, Fla. (2nd year)
San Antonio, Texas
San Bernardino, Calif.
San Francisco, Calif. (3rd year)
Sanford, N.C.
Shirley, Mass. (3rd year)
Spartanburg, S.C. (3rd year)
Springdale, Ark. (2nd year)
Takoma Park, Md.
Tempe, Ariz.
Thornton, Colo.
Tucson, Ariz. (3rd year)
West Palm Beach, Fla. (2nd year)
Wichita, Kan.
York, Pa. (2nd year)
Yorkville, Ill. (2nd year)
Yuma, Ariz. (3rd year)

Mayor Kenoi Announces Agriculture Plan for County Lands

From the Mayors Office:

County of Hawai’i Mayor Billy Kenoi told a community meeting in Honoka’a last night he is committed to making 1,739 acres of county-owned land at Kapulena available for community-based agriculture.

Mayor Kenoi outlined efforts by his administration to partner with the Hamakua County Farm Bureau and other farming experts to develop a sustainable plan for agriculture on the lands. Uses of the Kapulena lands could range from community gardens to larger-scale ranching and commercial production of crops to educational programs that will encourage youth to enter agricultural fields, the mayor said.

“We want to support the hard-working Hamakua farmers and ranchers, and we also want to plant the seeds of opportunity for our next generation of farmers,” Mayor Kenoi said. “We want to make these lands available to entrepreneurs, educators and community groups with a vision for the future of agriculture on this island.

State Sen. Dwight Takamine, Dist. 1 (Hilo, Hamakua, Waimea) and state Rep. Mark Nakashima, Dist. 1 (North Hilo, Hamakua, N. Kohala) worked closely with the Kenoi administration on preliminary planning for the Kapulena lands.

“This is really a win-win scenario for the community,” said Sen. Takamine. “By making these lands available to the community, we protect prime agricultural lands from development and maintain the rural character of the community.  Given the economic reality of so many families struggling, providing agricultural opportunities makes sense and honors our statewide goal of improving sustainability.”

Rep. Nakashima said the plan to partner with the Hamakua County Farm Bureau and other agencies to make the land available for farming is “an outstanding opportunity to return agricultural land to agriculture, and to put farmers back on the land.”

Other participants in the discussions, planning and research related to the Kapulena lands include the Farm Bureau, the University of Hawai’i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Outstanding issues at Kapulena that are still being studied include the ideal locations for disparate activities such as ranching and farming of truck crops; vehicle access and availability of water; and soils analysis to determine which crops will be best suited to the area.

Richard Ha, president of Hamakua Springs Country Farms, said the Kapulena lands represent a new opportunity for growth in agriculture on the island. Hamakua Springs is the largest banana and hydroponic vegetable farmer on the Island of Hawai’i.

“Everybody wants to make this work, and there are a whole bunch of people who are supporting it including state and federal organizations,” Ha said. “Everybody is going to do whatever they can do to help support this. Everybody was cooperative, upbeat and enthusiastic. They want to make this work.”

The County owns 10 parcels of land mauka of Honoka’a-Waipio Road at Kapulena. The lands are mid-way between Honoka’a and Waipi’o Valley at elevations ranging from about 1,000 feet to 2,000 feet. The parcels range in size from 778 acres to less than 1.5 acres, and are generally considered the best of the County-owned lands for farming purposes because they have the easiest access to water.

The commitment of 1,739 acres in Hamakua represents a major increase in the available opportunities for farming on the Island of Hawai’i. The state operates agricultural parks in Pahoa, Hamakua, Panaewa and Keahole, but the 1,739 acres at Kapulena amounts to more land for farming than all of those existing state-run agricultural parks on the island combined.

The largest single state-run agricultural park in Hawai’i today is a 753-acre park on Moloka’i.

Dirty Jobs… Tofu Making

Dirty Jobs
When Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe was here in Hawaii, they also made a side track to a Tofu factory:


Jon Gosselin Coming to Hawaii… Minus Kate and the Kids

Jon Gosselin

Got to wonder what Jon Gosselin is coming to Hawaii for?

“..Thankfully, we learned that he was just stopping over en route to Hawaii. Ya know, the very special destination where he renewed his wedding vows with Kate just last year as cameras rolled…”

Yo Jon! If you come to the Big Island… I’d love to meet you… Mack Daddy!

Teachers ‘Thrilled’ for 2010 My Hawai‘i Story Project, Fundraiser and Celebration Dec. 12

Media Release:
Last Years Winners

Last Years Winners

The Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance Foundation, The Pacific Writers’ Connection, and ING DIRECT today announced a Fundraiser and Celebration of My Hawai’i Story Project, to be held on Saturday, December 12th, 2009.

My Hawaii Story 2009

The events start at 12 p.m.. with a free My Hawai‘i Fair, featuring activities and educational materials for all ages. Then culminating the Fair will be a public reading by “My Hawai‘i” student authors and a reception to follow from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.  A silent auction featuring books, art, special nature tours, and other special offers will be on display and open for bidding at the ING DIRECT Café from December 7, 2009. Funds raised will support the 2010 writing contest. Everyone is invited to join in this celebration of children’s writing.



1958 Kalakaua Ave.

Honolulu, Hi. 96815

Ph. (808) 955-1435

My Hawai’I Story Project is a Middle School writing contest held annually that invites students to write a story, poem or essay to reflect their thoughts and feelings about what makes Hawai‘i’s environment special to them. Since the Project launched in 2007, 1,172 students have participated, and 75 student writings were published in the annual anthologies. Several student authors will be reading their poems and stories from the 2009 Anthology at the celebration.

“Students eagerly participate in this writing exercise each year hoping to share their experiences of Hawai‘i,” said 7th and 8th grade English teacher at Le Jardin Academy, Marcia Huber about the My Hawai’i Story Project. “As a teacher, I am thrilled to be able to provide a real life writing situation that interests my students. This collection of stories and poems is a valuable teaching tool for classrooms, sparks discussions, and provides future writing opportunities,” she added.

Complimentary valet parking will be available off Pau Street for the event.

For more information on the “My Hawai‘i” Story Project, including a list of the winning entries and a PDF version of the anthology, visit the website at www.hawaiiconservation.org.

Aloha “My Hawaii” student authors and teachers,

The staff and volunteers at the Hawaii Conservation Alliance Foundation and the Pacific Writers’ Connection wish to extend our appreciation and Mahalo for your participation in the “My Hawaii Story Project.” We received 380 entries this year, and our team of reviewers again found it extremely difficult to choose only 20 poems and 5 stories or essays for publication in this year’s Anthology.

To all students who participated, we encourage you to keep writing about your exploration and understanding of Hawaii’s environment. To the 25 students whose poems, stories, and essays are final selections, we offer you our congratulations!

Kailua Intermediate School Moana Keaunui ”The Beauty of Our Ocean”
Joanna Leung “Envisioning Hawai‘i”
Kiana Ringuette “Wai‘ahole”
Kapa‘a Middle School Kekai Gonsalves “Swamp of Alaka‘i”
Kawananakoa Middle School Jeanne Hua “My Special Hawai‘i”
Le Jardin Academy Devon Franke “My Moku”
Robert Graper “Extinction”
Georgia Havens “The Great and Beautiful Hawai‘i”
Cheryl Kapahu “Hawaii Winter”
Logan Spencer “My Home Everlasting”
Kira Szabo “‘Āina of Hawai‘i”
Erin Voss “Symphony of Birds”
Jasmine Ying “Our Island”
Maryknoll School Lisa Edamura “My Hawai‘i”
Na‘au, A Place for Learning Malia Brooks “Hear the Hala Pepe Sing”
Jordon Lee “If I Had But Two Little Wings
Carlee Matsunaga “To Keep Them Alive”
Lily Mei “Endangered Birds of the Rainforest”
Mackenzie Smith “The Sapphire Waves Creep”
Kaylie Takeuchi “Humuhumu-nukunuku-‘a-pua ‘a”
Niu Valley Middle School Marissa Meyer “The Last Dance”
R.L.Stevenson Middle Mason Higa “Hawai‘i”
Stem Academy KCS Keaneu Archer “Hawai’i On-shore Fishing”
Celina Bekins “My Mysteries
Kaitlen McPherson “Hawaiian Rain”

Big Island Carbon Project Update

Media Release:

Truck in position underneath Crane

Today was a big day at the Kawaihae project site for Big Island Carbon. One of the key pieces of custom-built equipment, the heart and soul of the operation, was carefully transported from the port in Kawaihae by truck and then lifted in to place on three pylons.  The wood crating surrounding the equipment will remain in place as protection until the building is constructed over the equipment at which time the crate will be dismantled.


Lifting off truck

“We are thrilled with this huge step in our company’s progress,” said Big Island Carbon CEO Rick Vidgen. “The kiln was originally damaged in transit on its way from Concordia , Kansas to the West Coast for shipping to Hawaii back in September when another truck rear-ended the low-boy trailer on which it was traveling. It is a relief to see the rebuilt kiln now in place.”


Positioning over pylons

Big Island Carbon is building a $25 million plant on four acres of land in the Kaie Hana Industrial Park at Kawaihae on the Big Island ’s leeward coast. The land is leased from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.


Almost in place

BIC will convert feedstock (macadamia nut shells) produced on island into Granular Activated Carbon (GAC), a valuable product for sale in national and international markets to pharmaceutical, environmental, and other industries.  A significant quantity of biofuel, a by-product of the process, will be sold for use on the island or used in the process to produce power.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Message – Flash Flood Watch Remains in Effect

This is a Civil Defense message:

This is a weather update for Friday morning November 13.

A flash flood watch remains in effect for Hawai’i County. A flash flood watch means that conditions exist that can lead to flooding.

The National Weather Service forecasts intermittent heavy rains to continue until this evening.

All major highways are open at this time with the exception of Bayfront Highway in Hilo which is closed due to high surf.

Again, a flash flood watch remains in effect for Hawai’i County until this evening.

The National Weather Service forecasts intermittent heavy rain until this evening.

Thank you for listening. Have a safe day.

This is your Hawai’i County Civil Defense.

The American Bully… Hawaiian Style


The American bully show flys toHawaii to witness the worlds strongest dog competition…


Sunday: Lead the Pack to Dog Day Afternoon – Presented by Hawaii Island Humane Society

humane society

WHEN: This Sunday, November 15, 2009 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: Hilo Hawaiian Hotel 71 Banyan Drive

HOW: Tickets $45 – available at all HIHS Island Shelters or by calling 329-8002 or 966-5458

WHAT: Includes heavy pupus, beer, wine, local-style live & silent auctions, live entertainment and same-day adoptions.
There will be live entertainment by Sugah Daddy & friends, live and silent auctions, delicious pupus, beer and wine and of course – animals from the Keaau Shelter available for adoptions.

WHY: Proceeds from this worthwhile event help the Hawaii Island Humane Society achieve its mission to promote respect for all animals, prevent cruelty to animals, eliminate pet overpopulation, and enhance the relationship between humans and animals.

Visit www.HIHS.org to learn more.