Karen Eoff Announces Candidacy for Hawaii County Council District 8

Karen Eoff

Aloha Friends and Family,

As you know, Councilman K. Angel Pilago has announced he will not seek re-election in 2012.  After much discussion with family and friends, and with the Pilago ‘Ohana, I am happy to announce that I have decided to run for the District 8 County Council seat to represent the Kona community and the island of Hawai‘i.

I have been married to my husband, Gary Eoff since 1975 and together we moved to Hawai‘i in 1981 to join my sister who also resides on the island.  We have lived in Kona for over 30 years.  We have several “hanai” children and grandchildren whom we have helped raise.

I am a founding member of the Kohanaiki ‘Ohana in 1987, serving as President from 2004 – 2008. The organization’s mission is to protect the natural and cultural resources along the Kona coastline. The Kohanaiki ‘Ohana successfully guided two Landmark Supreme Court wins and a Legislative victory protecting the traditional and customary rights of Native Hawaiians, encouraging public participation for good government, and improving state land use laws with regards to impacts of development on our communities.

After the legal issues at Kohanaiki were resolved, the Kohanaiki ‘Ohana worked with Mayor Kim’s administration and Kohanaiki Developers to forge a “Good Faith Agreement” for a 3-way partnership (Home/Landowners, County, Community) to a create a Shoreline Park at Kohanaiki which will be dedicated to the County for a public beach park.

From my early work grassroots organizing through my more recent work within the County government, I have a strong respect our multi-cultural diversity as a community and want to help build a caring and respectful society.  I believe in transparency in government, bringing fair and balanced government to island politics, and protecting our open space and conservation lands.

I am currently working as Legislative Assistant to Councilman Pilago, and assisted him during his first two terms on the County Council as well.  I have worked under three Council Chairs.  Over the last three years I have served as Secretary to the County Charter Commission and to the County Redistricting Commission.  My track record as an advocate for Kona combined with my experience in the Legislative Branch has prepared me well to serve on the County Council.

Many of the improvements that have been brought to District 8 have come about through partnerships and cooperation.  With your help and support, I will continue to work to see these projects to completion and continue to carry on the work that is best for our community and our island home.

Mahalo to all of you who have encouraged me to take on this new role.


Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i Announces New Head of School

Dr. Holoua Stender has been selected as the new Head of School for Kamehameha Schools’ Hawai‘i campus (KSH).

Dr. Holoua Stender

Dr. Stender has contributed to Kamehameha Schools over the past 32 years in his current role as Kapālama’s Elementary School Principal as well as prior department leadership and teaching roles at Kapālama’s High School, and as an administrator in its summer programs. He is also a member of Kamehameha’s tri-campus leadership team, tasked with advancing all three of Kamehameha’s campuses in 21st century educational excellence.

“Holoua has shown his passion for student learning and has contributed tremendously both at the division and campus levels of leadership. He is well respected for his educational knowledge and his deep understanding and expression of Hawaiian culture, language and life. He practices what he believes in and inspires others to do so as well,” commented Dr. Rod Chamberlain, VP of Campus Strategic and Academic Affairs at Kamehameha Schools.

This expertise was recognized by members of the KS Hawai‘i leadership team as they reflected after the interview process, “Dr. Stender is a proven educational leader within the KS system — he is a scholar that has connected Hawaiian pedagogies to impact student achievement.”

Dr. Stender grew up on Kewalo Hawaiian Homestead and learned Hawaiian culture and ‘ōlelo at an early age. In 1979 he achieved the level of Kumu Hula and still advises and supports various hālau and Hawaiian performing arts groups here and on the continent. He also teaches chant and mele composition and translates Hawaiian documents, songs and poetry for groups and individuals. He has been actively involved in his community and volunteers his time at church activities and in community fundraisers.

Dr. Stender received his doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California where he currently serves as an adjunct assistant professor. He also holds a master’s degree in Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder and currently serves on the core planning team of Kamehameha Schools’ Standards-Based Kula Hawai‘i curriculum project.

Upon learning of his appointment, Dr. Stender responded, “E ō e Moku o Keawe — Hawai‘i island — has always held a special place in my heart. This ‘āina is the ancestral homeland of my kūpuna. I am thankful and humbled to know that I‘ll be returning there to work with so many dedicated individuals, who are also inspired by the vision of Princess Pauahi to promote well-being and provide the very best in educational opportunities for our children and community on the Big Island of Hawai‘i.”

“Kamehameha Schools’ Hawai‘i campus has achieved many milestones in educational excellence. The school is a piko, gathering place for students, families, staff and the community. There is great synergy here where people come together to do noble work. I am excited and look forward to continuing the excellent traditions and work of leadership, faculty and staff of Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i.”

Opened in 1996, Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i is located on 312 acres in Kea‘au and serves 1,120 students in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade. The campus is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

Kamehameha Schools is a private, educational, charitable trust founded and endowed by the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. The year 2012 marks the 125th anniversary of the opening of Kamehameha Schools, which today operates a statewide educational system enrolling over 6,900 students of Hawaiian ancestry at K-12 campuses on O‘ahu, Maui and Hawai‘i and 31 preschool sites statewide. Over 40,000 additional Hawaiian learners and caregivers are served each year through a range of other Kamehameha Schools’ outreach programs, community collaborations and financial aid opportunities in Hawai‘i and across the continental United States.

Warrants for Traffic Stops Lead to Five People Getting Arrested for Narcotics Offenses

Three men and two women were arrested for narcotics offenses Friday(January 6) after a coordinated effort between the Area II Ice Task Force and North Kohala Community Policing and Patrol Officers led to execution of two unrelated search warrants, each stemming from traffic stops.

Kaipo Botelho-Matthey

Police stopped a pickup truck driven by 26-year-old Kaipo Botelho-Matthey of Hawi on Union Mill Road in Kapaʻau because of a defective tail light. Further investigation led to the arrest of Botelho-Matthey and his passenger, 26-year-old Trent Fujii of Hawi, on suspicion of drug charges. In a search warrant on the truck the following day, police recovered resealable plastic packets containing crystalline substance, a glass smoking pipe with crystalline residue, an unregistered .22 caliber firearm, ammunition,and $852 in cash.

Evelyn Lopez

A second traffic stop on a sedan driven by 24-year-old Evelyn Lopez of Hilo led to the arrest of Lopez and her two passengers, 43-year-old Michael Torres of Kapaʻau and 23-year-old Zerica Bell-Ching of Hawi. Upon execution of a search warrant on Saturday, officers recovered a container that contained a crystalline residue, a glass smoking pipe with crystalline residue, .22 caliber ammunition, and $116 in cash.

Michael Torres

The five suspects were held at the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Vice Section continued the investigation.

At 3:40 p.m. Sunday, detectives charged Botelho-Matthey with second-degree promoting dangerous drugs, third-degree promoting dangerous drugs, three firearms offenses, driving with a defective tail light and two counts of possessing drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $14,000.

Fujii was released pending further investigation.

Zerica Bell-Ching

At 3:45 p.m. Sunday, Lopez and Bell-Ching were charged with one count each of third-degree promoting dangerous drugs and possessing drug paraphernalia. Lopez was also charged with a no-fault insurance offense. Her bail was set at $4,025 and Bell-Ching’s bail was set at $4,000.

Torres was charged with two counts each of third-degree promoting dangerous drugs and possessing drug paraphernalia, and three firearms offenses. His bail was set at $51,000.

The recovered cash from both vehicles was seized for forfeiture.

All five individuals were held at the Kona Police station pending their initial court appearances on Monday morning at Kona District Court.

These arrests are part of the Police Department’s ongoing effort to curtail illegal drug distribution in our community. Concerned citizens are encouraged to continue to provide tips to the Vice Sections at 934-8423 in Hilo and 329-0423 in Kona.

ACLU Files Amicus Brief on Right to Videotape Police – Cites My Case in Briefing

Today the Hawaii ACLU filed amicus brief on the right to videotape police and in the brief they mentioned the case of me being falsely arrested for filming police here on the Big Island:

Today, the ACLU of Hawaii submitted an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in the case of Kahle v. Villaflor in U.S. District Court in Honolulu.

In April 2010, Mitch Kahle was ejected from the Hawaii Senate Chambers after objecting to an unconstitutional prayer at the opening of Senate business.  Kevin Hughes was filming the objection, and when Kahle was ejected from the Senate Chambers, Hughes followed him outside.

Hughes continued to film the incident, and was assaulted by State officials.  As seen in Hughes’ video of the incident, Ben Villafor (the Sergeant at Arms) approached Hughes and punched Hughes’ video camera.  He then said something like, “Get that camera,” after which State officials surrounded and attacked Hughes (damaging his camera, sending him to the hospital, and trampling his First Amendment rights).

This is, unfortunately, part of a disturbing trend in Hawaii and nationwide, whereby law enforcement officers assault those who are exercising their First Amendment rights to videotape law enforcement officers.  You can read more about these incidents in our Amicus Brief, and you can learn more about your right to videotape law enforcement in our First Amendment Toolkit. If you have experienced threats or intimidation as a result of documenting law enforcement encounters in Hawaii, please contact us.

I snipped the following from the brief:

On August 6, 2011, blogger Damon Tucker (“Tucker”) had a similar encounter with Hawaii County Police Department officers.  Tucker claims that he was filming the officers’ arrest of other individuals, when an officer slammed him to the ground and confiscated his camera/phone. Tucker was arrested for obstructing government operations, though charges were dropped shortly thereafter.

You can view the complete brief here: Amicus Brief on the Rights to Film Police Officers on Duty

I’ll be ramping things up in the next few days… more to come.

NFL Pro Bowl Trophy, Cheerleaders, Autographs and a Block Party… The 2012 NFL Pro Bowl Strolls Into Wolfgang’s in Waikiki

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfang Zwiener at the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki is, once again, the official Pro Bowl 2012 Trophy Host from January 24-28, 2012.  Wolfgang’s Steakhouse was also the official home of the trophy last year, the Pro Bowl MVP trophy’s inaugural year.

The trophy will be featured at a press conference (for media, only) at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort & Spa on Tuesday, January 24th, then brought to Wolfgang’s Steakhouse at approximately 12:45 p.m. by Wolfgang and Peter Zwiener and General Manager Bill Nickerson, accompanied by the Pro Bowl Cheerleaders and mascot.  The public is invited to greet the trophy at this time.  Limited photo ops will be available with the cheerleaders, as well.

From January 24th through the Pro Bowl Block Party on January 28th* (*except 1/25 – see below), the Pro Bowl Trophy will be on display at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse during regular hours – 11 a.m.~10:30 p.m. daily, and the public is invited to take a photo with the trophy at no charge.

“We welcomed thousands of excited Pro Bowl fans who came in last year to take a photo with the trophy,” said Nickerson.  “And many of them also stayed for lunch, happy hour, and dinner with us!  This is really the only opportunity for fans to take a photo, up close and personal, with such an iconic trophy – it’s truly a unique experience!  I recommend coming earlier in the week – there were long lines and hours-long wait on Saturday night during the Pro Bowl Block Party.”

A summary of events is below.  Stay tuned for more announcements on cheerleader appearances at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse throughout Pro Bowl Week.

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener
Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikiki
Building C, Level 3
Tel. (808) 922-3600

12:45/1:00 p.m.
Following the NFL Pro Bowl press conference at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort & Spa at 11:30 a.m., the new NFL Pro Bowl Trophy will be ceremoniously brought to Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener, it’s “home” during Pro Bowl Week in Hawaii.  Be among the first to see the trophy and take a picture with it at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse!  Limited photo ops available with the Pro Bowl Cheerleaders.

And stay for lunch!!!  In addition to our regular menu, Wolfgang’s popular $10 Daily Lunch Specials include our 1/2-lb. Prime Sirloin Burger with Fries & Onion Rings; Fresh Mahimahi Fish & Chips with Fries; Fresh Mahimahi Sandwich with Fries & Onion Rings; or the Wolfgang’s Tropical Chop Salad.

1:00-10:30 p.m.
The public is invited to take photos with the NFL Pro Bowl Trophy.  No purchase required, but check out our menu and ask about our specials during Pro Bowl Week!

Wolfgang’s Tip:  Join us for lunch (11 a.m.~5 p.m.), happy hour (4~6:30 p.m.) or dinner (5~10:30 p.m.)!

1:00-3:00 p.m., only*

*The trophy will be removed temporarily for private player events at another location.

11:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m.

Wolfgang’s Tip:  Join us for lunch (11 a.m.~5 p.m.), happy hour (4~6:30 p.m.) or dinner (5~10:30 p.m.)!

11:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m.

Wolfgang’s Tip:  Join us for lunch (11 a.m.~5 p.m.), happy hour (4~6:30 p.m.) or dinner (5~10:30 p.m.)!

11:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m.

Wolfgang’s Tip:  Join us for weekend brunch (11 a.m.~3:30 p.m.), lunch (11 a.m.~5 p.m.), happy hour (4~6:30 p.m.) or dinner (5~10:30 p.m.)!

7:00-10:00 p.m.

Wolfgang’s Tip:  Join us for dinner and watch the activities on Kalakaua Avenue from our third floor vantage point.

The NFL Pro Bowl will take place on Sunday, January 29th, at Aloha Stadium.

“We hope all football fans will take this opportunity to visit Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, take a photo with the trophy, meet the cheerleaders, and also enjoy some of our fabulous food!” added Nickerson.  “Royal Hawaiian Center has the best parking deal in Waikiki – first hour free and $1 per hour for the next 3 hours, with validation.”

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse is also hosting private events for the NFL during Pro Bowl Week.

For more information on NFL Pro Bowl Hawaii 2012, please visit http://www.nfl.com/probowl.

Big Island Police Asking for Help in Identifying Suspect in Kona Robbery

Big Island police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect in a robbery the evening of January 5 at a business located within the Kaloko Business Center V on Kamanu Street in Kailua-Kona.

The suspect’s image was captured on a surveillance camera. The surveillance video also shows vehicles passing the shopping center at the time the suspect fled into the night.

Responding to an 8:06 p.m. call last Thursday (January 5), Kona patrol officers made contact with a 63-year-old Kailua-Kona woman, who reported an unknown man had entered into her business, spending several minutes looking at merchandise in the shop. The man then rushed behind the cashier’s stand and grabbed a pair of scissors from the countertop. He confronted the shop owner with the scissors, then opened the cash register and removed an unknown amount of currency. The suspect then fled from the shop and was last seen running north on Kamanu Street.

The shop owner did not sustain any injuries during the robbery.

The suspect is described as in his late 20s to early 30s, approximately 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, with a dark complexion, a full-groomed beard without a mustache, and short black hair. He was last seen wearing jeans, a white T-shirt, a black baseball cap with an unknown design on the front, and a large gold watch on his left wrist.

Police are also interested in speaking with a possible witness who had entered into the shop while the suspect was present but left prior to the robbery. The witness is described as a Caucasian male in his mid 20s.

Police ask that anyone with information about this case call Detective 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.

NASA Plane Returns to the Big Island to Help Study Voclanoes

NASA’s G-III research aircraft returned to the Hawaii Islands Jan. 7 to continue a study of volcanoes intended to help scientists better understand processes occurring under Earth’s surface.

NASA's Gulfstream-III research testbed lifts off from the Edwards Air Force Base runway with the UAV synthetic aperture radar pod under its belly. (NASA / Tom Tschida)

Mounted in a pod under the aircraft is the Jet Propulsion Laboratory-developed Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar. UAVSAR uses a technique called interferometry that sends pulses of microwave energy from the sensor on the aircraft to the ground to detect and measure very subtle deformations in Earth’s surface.

This color-enhanced interferogram image taken between January 2010 and May 2011 show the east rift zone of Kilauea volcano, about six miles from the summit caldera. Lava has been flowing from the east rift zone since 1983, and is the most active part of Kilauea. (JPL / UAVSAR image)

The radar will collect data over the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii from an altitude of about 41,000 feet. The UAVSAR’s first data acquisition over this region took place in January 2010. Assisted by a Platform Precision Autopilot designed by engineers at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, flights over the volcano were repeated in May 2011. Those two sets of observations successfully imaged the surface deformation caused by the March 2011 fissure eruption in Kilauea’s east rift zone.

Flights this month will trace the same path as the two previous years to measure deformation of the volcano since the March 2011 eruption and as part of future studies of the volcano’s changing deformation patterns due to volcanic activity.

The aircraft departed NASA’s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., Jan. 7 and is scheduled to return Jan. 15. It will be based at Kona International Airport while in Hawaii.

MANA Magazine – A New Magazine Devoted to Hawaiian Culture and Current Affairs Coming Soon

MANA Magazine, which will be devoted exclusively to Hawaiian culture and current affairs, will launch in April 2012. The bi-monthly magazine will explore hard-hitting issues facing native Hawaiians and offer disparate opinions, as well as highlight Hawaiian heritage, language, art, music and people.

Published by a jointly owned subsidiary of The Kālaimoku Group and PacificBasin Communications, MANA will adhere to professional journalism as it delves into topics such as governance, education, health, income and more.

“MANA provides a valued independent voice that is not tied to any organization or viewpoint,” said co-owner and co-publisher John Aeto. “We hope to inspire serious exchange, sharing contrasting opinions and ideas on the hard-hitting topics such as governance, education, health, income and more,” he says.

Co-owner and co-publisher John Aeto

Stories will cover the range and diversity of Hawaiian voices wherever they live, including globe trotting Hawaiians.

The Kālaimoku Group is a Honolulu-based, native Hawaiian-owned business development firm founded by Aeto and Cedric Duarte. Both partners have extensive experience in Hawaiian community affairs and the media.

Cedric Duarte

PacificBasin Communications is Hawai‘i’s largest, locally owned media company that publishes 11 magazines including HONOLULU Magazine. HONOLULU is Hawai‘i’s oldest magazine, commissioned under a royal charter from King Kalākaua in 1888 under the name Paradise of the Pacific. MANA emulates these royal roots as a voice for the native Hawaiian community.

“MANA hopes to reach active, engaged Hawaiians everywhere – in Hawai‘i, on the Mainland and around the world,” says Scott Schumaker, PacificBasin Communications president. “It offers a platform for all those who care deeply about the Hawaiian community and the important role it plays in making Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i.

Scott Schumaker, PacificBasin Communications president

“Our owner, Duane Kurisu, built PacificBasin to ensure the integrity of local journalism and continued cultivation of home-grown perspectives. His investment in MANA speaks to his commitment to growing our community’s capacity to speak with Hawai‘i audiences and offer an important forum for life in our islands.”

Schumaker is a co-publisher of MANA, with Aeto. Kurisu is the owner of aio Group, a locally owned family of businesses specializing in media, printing, technology, sports and food.

An advisory board for MANA is being recruited. The magazine’s owners and publishers are taking nominations to ensure community-based content and a statewide scope.

“Mana” in the Hawaiian language means power or authority, sometimes spiritual or divine power. The magazine’s name, MANA and its design are derived from the symbolism of the triangle in Hawaiian culture. Taken together, the triangles in the letters “A” of the logo symbolize the power and strength of the Hawaiian people.

To subscribe to MANA Magazine and its newsletter, visit: www.mymanamagazine.com. Nominations for the MANA advisory board are being accepted via email: info@mymanamagazine.com.

House of Representative Faye Hanohano District 4 Updates

Greetings and Happy New Year to all of you!

As we start the year 2012, we want to acknowledge the accomplishments of 2011.

Act 195, The Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill was signed into law by the Governor on July 6th.  The bill recognizes the Native Hawaiian people as indigenous, aboriginal, maoli people of Hawai’i and it adds a new chapter to the Hawaii Revised Statutes, which establish a process for Native Hawaiians to organize themselves.

Act 164, which consists of monies allocated towards various school on the island of Hawai’i to develop, plan and/or design.  Pahoa Elementary School is in the stage of planning and designing for a new cafeteria. The University of Hawaii at Hilo, is planning and designing for the development of Student Housing Facilities and Living Learning Community.  The lower campus at Hawaii Community College plans to update their long range plans.

H.B. 141, Labor Trafficking Bill was approved on June 20, 2011 and went into effect on July 1, 2011, which consists of two penalties in the first and second degree.

These are just some of the many accomplishments that we acknowledge.

Act 162, Motor Vehicle Registration raising the Annual fee of $25.00 to $45.00 and Act 86, raising the Weight Tax on your vehicle are two bills that I did not support.  I have voted not in favor of these Acts due to the timing of our economic restraints.

As we progress in the session of 2012, I continually ask for your support and thank you for letting me serve as your Representative for District 4.

`O wau iho no me ka ha`aha`a

Faye Hanohano