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West Hawai’i Civic Center Dedication and Open House

From the Mayors Office:

The official dedication of the West Hawai’i Civic Center will take place Thursday, April 14 at the new facility located at 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, on the corner of Ane Keohokalole Highway and Kealakehe Parkway.

West Hawaii Civic Center (Click for larger image)

The dedication begins at 4 p.m. with a short ceremony at the gazebo in the middle of the civic center. An open house will follow. Donated refreshments will be served during the blessing and open house, which will conclude at 6 p.m.

Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi will be on hand to honor former and current county officials who made the facility a reality.

For more information, call the mayor’s office in West Hawai’i at 323-4444.

Geothermal Informational Community Sessions Begin Saturday in Pahoa

Media Release:

What: A community form and information session on geothermal development in Hawaii . The event will feature presentations from Native Hawaiians on community based models for geothermal development, cultural issues and the protection of cultural resources, OHA’s role in Wao Kele O Puna forest management, the revenue OHA receives from Geothermal development, and native Hawaiian/public ownership of geothermal ‘minerals’ as assets of the ceded land trust.

Who: Patricia Brandt, CEO of Innovations Development Group (IDG), a Hawaii-based corporation with geothermal projects on Maori Trust lands in New Zealand , will moderate the forum. Six native Hawaiian leaders will give presentations.

When: Saturday, April 9, 2011, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Where: Pahoa Community Center , 15-2710 Kauhale Road , Pahoa , HI 96778

Phone: 808.965.2704

Why: Geothermal energy in Hawaii has been controversial in the past. Come find out how this sustainable, domestic energy force can help fuel the Hawaiian islands in the future and discuss community-based development of geothermal resources.

Interview Opportunity: If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with one of our participants, please call Ryan Matsumoto at 808.536.0434 or email Ryan at info@idghawaii.com

Hawaiian experts say that sustainable, domestic energy can fuel the Hawaiian Islands of the future, and replace more costly, dirty and dangerous alternatives like fossil fuels and nuclear energy.  But geothermal energy has a controversial past in Hawaii .  In the early 1990s a coalition of Native Hawaiians and environmentalists successfully closed down the Wao Kele O Puna geothermal development project, in part because the proposed site had historical and cultural significance for Hawaiians, and it was located in Hawaii ’s largest remaining lowland wet forest, home to native plants and wild life.

Now a group of Hawaiian organizations, corporations and noted individuals, including former opponents of the Wao Kele O Puna project like international human rights attorney Mililani Trask, have coordinated a public forum to discuss Community-Based Development of Geothermal Resources.

The Geothermal Informational Community Sessions begin Saturday April 9th in Pahoa. This session is for the Puna community and will feature six presenters, all Native Hawaiian sharing their personal perspectives on community based models for geothermal development, cultural issues and the protection of cultural resources, OHA’s role in Wao Kele O Puna forest management, the revenue OHA receives from Geothermal development, and native Hawaiian/public ownership of geothermal ‘minerals’ as assets of the ceded land trust.

Innovations Development Group (IDG), a Hawaii-based corporation with geothermal projects on Maori Trust lands in New Zealand is one of the participants.  IDG CEO Patricia Brandt says it is imperative that the Hawaiian and local community have a say in future geothermal development.  “Geothermal is a public resource.  The current business model of an outside company coming in, tapping our resources and then making us pay for the product we give them access to exploit is not the future we envision.  The people of the land need to be real partners in any geothermal development, and we have the expertise to make that happen.”

Hawaiians have long had a vision for geothermal.  Back in 1881 King David Kalakaua journeyed to New York to discuss a solution with Thomas Edison for pumping geothermal energy through interisland underground powerlines from the Big Island of Hawaii to Oahu to power Honolulu and Iolani Palace amongst other sites.

The community informational sessions are a critical step in planning for sustainable domestic energy in which the community has a role and a voice.  “The bottom line,” says Mililani Trask, “is that our community needs to be proactive and diligent in how we build out sustainable domestic resources like energy and food, and reclaim self-sufficiency for ourselves and our keiki.”

“As Hawaiians who are the owners of the resource,” adds Kuulei Kealoha, Trustee of the Kealoha Estate, “we need to be involved in geothermal development to ensure its development benefits the whole community.”

Community Informational Sessions:Saturday April 9, 2011, 10am-2pm Pahoa Community Center, 15-2710 Kauhale Road, Pahoa, HI 96778; 808.965.2704.

More to be added soon…

The Geothermal Informational Session panel will be moderated by IDG CEO Patricia Brandt.  Panelists include Mililani Trask, Esq. (International Human Rights Advocate), Ku’uleiohuokalani Kealoha Cooper (Kealoha Estate), Cy Bridges (Hawaiian Cultural Advisor), Bob Lindsey (OHA Trustee), and Kale Gumapac (CEO, Laulima Title Search & Guarantee).

The Hawaiian Geothermal Community Informational Sessions are sponsored by Kealoha Estate, Indigenous Consultants LLC, Innovations Development Group, Inc., Bob Lindsay, OHA Trustee—Hawaii Island, Kanaka Council Moku O Keawe, Laulima Title Search and Claims.

April is “National Distracted Driving Awareness Month”

Media Release:

The Hawai’i Police Department’s Traffic Services Section organized a sign-waving event on Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo on Monday (April 4). As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has declared April “National Distracted Driving Awareness Month,” this event was to remind motorists about the dangers of the use of electronic devices while driving— especially talking and texting.

The Traffic Services Section was supported by Sergeant Gali and Officer Davies of the Traffic Enforcement Unit, members of the Impaired Driving Task Force, representatives of the Office of Social Ministry (HOPE HAWAI’I), MADD Victims Advocate Ashley Drake and private citizens.

Dieter Blattler, Traffic Safety Coordinator at the Hawai’i Police Department, said that, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,474 people were killed on U.S. roadways in 2009 and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. Sixteen percent of fatal crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. Of those people killed in distracted-driving-related crashes, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction.

“These numbers are on the rise,” Blattler said. “That’s why we all need to change our attitude about the use of electronic devices!

Return of the Dark Poetry Slam

Media Release:

Kimberly Dark returns to Volcano Art Center Poetry Slam to host and bring her incredible magic and talents to Volcano’s Hale Ho’omana Performance Hall on Friday evening April 8th at 7:00 pm.

Kimberly Clark

After 8 weeks of intense teaching on the Mainland Kimberly returns to VAC to host her slam and bring her words to life and to inspire the poets of the Big Island. “We have been looking so forward to Kimberly’s return as she is not only the founder of the VAC Poetry Slam but also one of the main reasons that Poetry and Theater are thriving so much on the Big Island. Her work inspires so many people on the Mainland and also her home Hawaii and if you want to see the incredible results of her work come to the Slam on April 8 at 7 pm as you will not only hear poetry but also feel poetry.” said an excited VAC Performance Coordinator David Wallerstein.

The rules for participating poets are: (1) bring 2 poems of your own construction but remember that not everyone advances to the second round; (2) make sure that no poem is longer then three minutes performed and if it is longer please remember that points will be deducted from your score; (3) Poems can be memorized or read but remember that there are no props, costumes, or musical accompaniment. (4) Prizes will be awarded to the top 5 finishers of the evening, cash prizes for first and second, and an art gift from the Volcano Art Center for third, forth, and fifth place.

Valuing community over competition, VAC keeps the emphasis on the poets and their extraordinary talent even in the context of the slam, although a judge has been booed every now and then, but that is part of the fun. As the night progresses and individuals move closer to advancing to the second round, momentum and exhilaration bind the poets, their mentors, and audience members with the Volcano Art Center. First time and returning poets with new material are encouraged and we can not wait for you to use our stage to shine!

The VAC Poetry Slam also has food at intermission with snacks and drinks available throughout the evening So poets and audience members know that they can eat and enjoy a great meal and also see a fantastic performance if they have to work late or if other things come up before show time. We just want people to have the best experience at the Volcano Art Center and this was one of the things that people asked for, so we did it.

The “Return of the Dark” Poetry Slam” on April 8 will take place at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus at Hale Ho’omana Performance Hall, located in Volcano Village on Old Volcano Road. Single ticket price for the event is $8.00 and you can purchase them at 967-8222 or visit website at www.volcanoartcenter.org. Tickets are also available 1 hour before the performance at the venue.

*Second Update* Reports Coming in that Missing Canadian Woman Rhonda Beaulieu is Safe

Yesterday I posted the police media release about the missing woman from Canada Rhonda Beaulieu who went missing in Kona.

Reports are starting to come in that she may be safe.

A Canadian radio station Q99FM tweeted the following a few moments ago and I will assume that GP stands for Grand Prairie:

Q99News Q99Newsroom
GP Woman safe in Hawaii. #gpab #yqu
I can’t confirm that she is safe and she has not posted to her facebook page since she went missing, however one of her friends on friends list posted this about an hour ago:
hey woman!! you put a good scare into alot of people…yes you are dearly loved!!!!im hope your o.k sweetie!!!
The local police department has not posted any updates that she has been found yet on their media release page and if and when they do… I will post it.
*Update* This comment was just left on the previous post:
I spoke to Don her boyfriend yesterday and he told me she was okay and at the room. I tried calling him today and left a message. Hopefully he can get back to me what is the number to the hotel room? Has anyone spoke to Zach?

*Second Update*

The Edmonton Journal has reported that:

She was reported missing after she was last seen on Saturday at the Coconut Grove Marketplace in Kailua-Kona, police said. She has since left a voice message at her hotel room, but police spokeswoman Chris Loos said the case is open until police physically locate her.

Beaulieu’s family in Grande Prairie said they’ve heard from her boyfriend that she was found safe and is set to return home Tuesday night as scheduled.

*April 6th Update* SHE HAS BEEN FOUND