Food Donations Sought for Puna’s Funeral

Posting the following from facebook:

Following food donations needed for Puna’s funeral.  Mahalo Nui Loa for your Kokua.

Contributions and donations towards the mea ‘ai:

All donations and contributions that are non-perishable can be dropped off at Kaimu by Feb. 26 so that we have an idea of what is needed. Other items can be delivered when you arrive (ex: sandwiches, salad, etc…).

Please Contact Cousin Bobo and Mary Kamanu at 747-0937 if you have questions or contributions.

Monetary contributions or condolence cards can be mailed to Gwen Keliihoomalu at P.O. Box 1493 Hilo, Hawaiʻi 96721. Questions regarding monetary or condolence cards can be directed to Gwen at 333-0730 or e-mail her at

Menu and items:
Friday Mar. 2 Menu: Chili/Rice and Curry Stew

Items needed:
2oo lbs hamburger 600 lbs rice( for all 3 days) 3 case kidney/chili beans
4 case tomato sauce 3 cases chili powder 200 lbs stew meat/brisket
3 case curry powder 4 cases stewing tomato 100 lbs potato
100 lbs carrots 100 lbs celery100 lbs onion
10 lbs garlic 5 cases buns/rolls 50 gallons juice
Other dishes that complement the menu are welcome and can be brought ready made on that day.

Sat. Mar. 3rd and Mar. 4th Breakfast Menu: Continental
Items Needed:

Donuts Rolls Pastries
Fruits Coffee Creamer
Tea Coco Sugar

Sat. Mar. 3rd Lunch Menu: Sandwiches

All types of sandwiches, chips and fruit/veggie platters are welcome and greatly appreciated; we ask that sandwiches are prepared in advance, cut and ready to serve. However, we have had request to drop off items for the sandwiches, therefore these are the items that are needed:

6 cases Tuna 40 cases Eggs 20 cases Hot dogs
50 cases of Bread 20 cases Buns 50 bottles Ketsup
50 bottles Mustard 20 bottles Relish
Chips fruits/veggies

Sat. Mar. 3rd Dinner Menu: Stew/Teriyaki Beef (donated by Kealoha/Napolean ‘Ohana)
Toss Salad/Dressing (donated by Garcia ʻOhana)
Hawaiian Plate: Kalua Pig/Cabbage, Chicken Long Rice, Rice
Items Needed:

200 lbs chicken 3 lbs ginger 20 lbs green onion
4 cases Chicken Broth 50 lbs cabbage 5 5 lb bag hawaiian salt
Donations to complement this meal are greatly appreciated and welcome (ex: dessert items)

Sun. Mar. 4th Lunch Menu: Left Overs and Sandwiches

Paper Products:

These items are also needed:
5000 Dessert plates 5000 sporks (Hopac)
5000 cups (cold and hot)
5000 Napkins ( the more the better)
Coffee stir sticks/straws

Donation of Flowers: Flowers and green foliage are needed to decorate the flatbed to transport Puna. All donations can be dropped off at Kaimu by Wed. Feb. 29.

Mahalo nui to all of you who have been asking how you can kōkua, we hope this helps. Again Mahalo.

Rep. Heather Giugni Takes Oath of Office – Appointed to Represent State House District 33

Newly appointed State Representative Heather Haunani Giugni was sworn in today during the House floor session.  Giugni was appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie to fill the District 33 seat which covers Aiea, Halawa Valley, Halawa Heights, Aiea Heights, and Red Hill.  Former Representative Tom Okamura, who was previously appointed to the seat in January, stepped down last month unexpectedly due to illness.

Rep. Heather Giugni and House Speaker Calvin Say

“The House welcomes Heather Giugni and looks forward to working with the new representative for the 2012 legislative session,” said House Speaker Calvin Say.  “Rep. Giugni has demonstrated her commitment to the community through her work in media, political and cultural projects.  I believe she will bring an interesting and valuable perspective to the legislature.”

Rep. Giugni can be reached at 808-586-6340 or by email at  Her office is located in Room 324 of the Hawaii State Capitol.

Hilo Harbor Security Screening for Cruise Ship Passengers to be Temporarily Relocated

The state Department of Transportation (DOT) will be relocating the Hilo Harbor security screening area for cruise ship passengers from inside the Pier 1 Shed to the outside walkway of the pier. Work on the $53,482 project is set to begin February 22 and is scheduled to be completed by March 13, 2012. Tents and utilities will be installed creating a weather-protected area outside the boarding area for the passengers and security staff.

The relocation will allow the DOT to proceed with a reroofing project on the Pier 1 Shed that includes utilities upgrades and other improvements. Work is expected to begin later this year and last about six months.

“The Department of Transportation knows how important the cruise ship industry is to Hilo and all of Hawaii County,” said Transportation Director Glenn Okimoto.  “We promise to do everything we can to minimize the disruption to the passengers and harbor operations.  The Pier 1 Shed was originally built in 1927 and these renovations are a top priority for the department.”

Two covered walkways were constructed in 2010 along Pier 1 to provide protection from the sun and weather for cruise ship passengers during the shed renovation. A 462-foot-long walkway is in place for passengers waiting to go through security and board. A 141-foot-long walkway also provides shelter for passengers from the ship to the pick-up area for tour buses and vans.

The work at Pier 1 is just one of the ongoing projects at Hilo Harbor. DOT is currently dredging a portion of the harbor to create another approach to Pier 3 and to accommodate ships berthing at the future Pier 4. The dredging work is expected to be completed in April 2012 and then work will begin on a much needed Cargo Yard, scheduled for completion in 2013. Work on Pier 4 is set to start in March 2013 and will take about a year to complete. Overall, the projects are expected to provide about $60 million in construction work to the Hilo community and greatly improve harbor capacity, allowing Hilo Harbor to serve the growing needs of Hawaii County for generations to come.

Hawaii Department of the Attorney General Files Answers to Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuit

Attorney General David M. Louie announced today that Governor Neil Abercrombie and Director of the State Department of Health Loretta Fuddy, have filed separate answers, as the two defendants named in their official capacities, in the First Amended Complaint in Jackson v. Abercrombie, the United States District Court lawsuit which challenges Hawaii’s ban on same sex marriage.

Click to read

Governor Abercrombie has acknowledged many of the complaint’s allegations, including the denial of federal constitutional rights caused by the state’s existing marriage law.  Director Fuddy, however, as the director of the department charged with administering the law, has denied many of the complaint’s allegations.  As such, the Department of Health will continue to enforce the law, and will vigorously defend it.  Both defendants’ answers are attached to this press release.

The Complaint

The complaint alleges that on November 18, 2011, plaintiffs Natasha Jackson and Janin Kleid were denied a marriage license by the Department of Health because they are both women.  The complaint also alleges that plaintiff Gary Bradley and his partner were the first male couple to obtain a civil union in Hawaii, but chose not to apply for a marriage license because it would be “futile” to do so under state law.

All three plaintiffs allege that the denial of a marriage license to them by the State, pursuant to section 572-1 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes and article I, section 23 of the Hawaii Constitution, violates their rights to Due Process and Equal Protection under state law, guaranteed them by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Governor Abercrombie’s Position

Governor Abercrombie, in choosing not to defend those portions of the complaint alleging equal protection and due process violations under the United States Constitution, issued the following statement: “Under current law, a heterosexual couple can choose to enter into a marriage or a civil union.  A same-sex couple, however, may only elect a civil union.  My obligation as Governor is to support equality under law.  This is inequality, and I will not defend it.”

In his answer to the complaint, Governor Abercrombie has specifically admitted several of the plaintiffs’ allegations:

· To the extent that state law allows opposite sex couples, but not same sex couples, to get married, it violates the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.

· State law, in denying all opposite sex couples the ability to get married, violates the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution because the right to marry is a fundamental right, and there is no legitimate reason to deny otherwise qualified couples the ability to marry simply because they are of the same sex.

· Allowing opposite sex couples but not same sex couples to get married violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.  By denying all same sex couples the ability to marry, state law discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, and there are no compelling, substantial, or even rational bases for such discrimination.
Governor Abercrombie is defending against all of the allegations in the complaint that he has not admitted in his answer.  This means he is defending against certain allegations, including defending the state against any civil rights liability under chapter 42, section 1983 of the United States Code.  The Governor is also defending the state against any money damages claims.

Director Fuddy’s Position

Director Fuddy, after consulting with the Governor, has chosen to defend against the complaint.  She issued the following statement: “The Department of Health is charged with implementing the law as passed by the Legislature. Absent any ruling to the contrary by competent judicial authority regarding constitutionality, the law will be enforced.  Because I am being sued for administering the law, I will also defend it.”

In her answer to the complaint, Director Fuddy specifically:

· Admits that she has been sued in her capacity as the Director of the Department of Health.  The authority, responsibilities, and duties of that office are as stated in Hawaii law.

· Admits that Bradley and his male partner cannot be issued a marriage license under existing Hawai‘i law.

· Denies that plaintiffs may have their relationship recognized as a marriage by the state.
The Attorney General’s Legal Ability To Represent Multiple Parties

The Attorney General has assigned separate teams of attorneys to represent the Governor and the Director of Health, under well-established Hawaii Supreme Court precedent.

In State v. Klattenhoff (1990) and Chun v. Board of Trustees of Employees’ Retirement System of State of Hawaii (1998), the Hawaii Supreme Court held that the Department of the Attorney General may undertake concurrent representation of multiple parties, which might otherwise constitute a conflict of interest under Rule 1.7 of the Hawaii Code of Professional Conduct, the rules governing lawyers.  In so doing, however, the Department must erect appropriate firewalls between the competing attorneys, and take steps to ensure that no prejudice is suffered by the clients.

In this case, both the Governor and the Director are being represented by separate teams of attorneys general, and appropriate protections have been put in place to ensure that both clients are being vigorously, and separately, represented.

Hawai‘i Community Foundation Announces 2012 Island Innovation Fund Recipients

Five recipients are awarded $480,591 in grants – including a first time “People’s Choice Award” – to implement fresh ideas and create meaningful change in Hawai‘i

The Hawai‘i Community Foundation announced the second round of grant recipients from its Island Innovation Fund, which was created to serve as a catalyst for innovation within the nonprofit sector. From a group of eight finalists, a total of $480,591 was awarded to five recipients for projects that will: increase energy awareness through real-time energy monitoring web and mobile application tools; allow residents statewide to actively follow and monitor the Hawai‘i legislative process; distribute a replicable exercise and fall prevention program to Hawai‘i’s seniors; deploy a new access control mechanism to maintain public access to trails and pathways on Hawai‘i Island; and encourage schools to eliminate its waste to create green schools.

For the first time, a “People’s Choice Award” was also selected by the more than 200 nonprofits that submitted proposals over the first and second grant rounds.

“While the continuing stagnant economy forces nonprofits to do more with less while facing complex issues, it is increasingly important to create a culture for innovation that allows organizations to think out of the box to find creative solutions to challenges in our community,” explained Kelvin Taketa, president and chief executive officer of Hawai‘i Community Foundation. “The Island Innovation Fund is designed to foster new ways to solve the various problems that our state faces, by working together and building upon each others’ great ideas.”

In its first round of grants, a total of $461,119 was awarded to five recipients for innovative projects that addressed various issues from conservation of native forests to technology solutions that connect consumers to Hawai‘i farm products.

“It was exciting to build upon the successes and lessons learned from the first round of grants and to work with nonprofits in this second round to spur new, thoughtful ideas to create lasting change in our communities,” said Kina Mahi, senior programs officer at the Hawai‘i Community Foundation in charge of the Island Innovation Fund. “We were impressed with the exciting community engagement strategies and new technology ideas that have the potential to make a broader impact beyond the organizations.”

This is the second of three award rounds planned. The second round recipients of the Island Innovation Fund include:

Blue Planet Foundation (Hawai‘i Energy Tracker Phase II: “Show Me the Power”) – $100,000
Blue Planet Foundation will increase energy awareness and provoke action through its “Show Me the Power” (SMTP) and “The Island Pulse” innovations.  SMTP, a new web application, will encourage households to change their energy habits by enabling users to see their real-time energy usage and allowing them to select from different scenarios (i.e. upgrading their refrigerator to an Energy Star appliance) that will show cost and energy savings.  “The Island Pulse” is targeted to create energy consumption awareness in communities, businesses, and groups through an energy use public display in high-traffic locations (i.e. shopping malls and restaurants).

Hawai‘i Elections Project, Inc. (Hawai’i Policy Portal) – $81,720
The Hawai’i Policy Portal (HPP) allows residents statewide to actively follow and participate in Hawai‘i’s legislative process. HPP will help to simplify research, mobilization, and communication needed for effective advocacy at both the State and County levels, and the platform will have the potential to transform public participation in Hawai’i’s policy-making process.

Giving Back (Move With Balance) – $100,000
Giving Back will offer a replicable exercise and fall prevention program for Hawai‘i’s seniors. The organization will distribute instructional DVDs and educational materials to individuals, caregivers, and senior centers, and a user-friendly interactive website will connect clients for sharing and further trainings.

PATH – People’s Advocacy for Trails Hawai‘i (Public Access with Kuleana) – $100,000
The project will pursue a community-managed public access model that provides a way for the public to enjoy activities like fishing and hiking on private lands, with a shared kuleana, or responsibility, to cultural practices, environmental sustainability, private property rights and community values.  The grant will fund implementation of a six-part community-managed public access model consisting of (1) legal agreements, (2) risk management, (3) an access control and accountability system, (4) education and orientation of access users, (5) establishment of enforcement protocols, and (6) evaluation to improve the model and inform others who wish to apply this model to other places.  Two locations in Pepe`ekeo, North Hilo and Keahuolū, North Kona have been chosen for the innovation.

People’s Choice Award
The Green House (Greening our Schools) – $98,871
The Green House will expand its school waste diversion and green jobs program that converts schools into zero waste sites where “waste” is kept on-site and composted into useable resources. Trained Environmental Educators at each site will ensure the sustainability of the program and provide mentor/mentee green jobs training opportunities.

The Island Innovation Fund was established in 2010 as a part of the historic $50 million commitment from Pam and Pierre Omidyar to the Hawai‘i Community Foundation.  Details on the Island Innovation Fund are available at<> and the Hawai‘i Community Foundation website,<>.

About Hawai`i Community Foundation
With 95 years of community service, the Hawai‘i Community Foundation is the leading philanthropic institution in the state.  The Foundation is a steward of more than 600 funds, including more than 160 scholarship funds, created by donors who desire to transform lives and improve communities.  In 2011, more than $43 million in grants and contracts were distributed statewide.  The Foundation also serves as a resource on community issues and trends in the nonprofit sector.

Two Puna Residents Charged With Robbery in Connection with Pahoa Incident Monday

Two Puna residents have been charged with robbery in connection with an incident in Pāhoa on Monday afternoon (February 20) that sent the victim to the hospital.

Puna patrol officers responded to a 2:45 p.m. call Monday and encountered a 32-year-old Pāhoa man, who reported that while he was standing outside a Pāhoa restaurant, a woman had approached him and asked him for marijuana. When he said he didn’t have any, she reportedly hit him in the back of the head several times with her fist and removed cash from his pants pocket.

The victim dropped his skateboard during the attack.

A man reportedly joined in the attack, hitting the victim in the head first with his fist and later with the victim’s skateboard, knocking him unconscious.

The victim was taken to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries.

Steven Stoesser

At 3 p.m. Monday, police arrested 32-year-old Steven Stoesser, 35-year-old Lisa Yurkovic and 19-year-old Gina Sumaoang, all of Pāhoa. They were held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

Lisa Yurkovic

At 10 p.m., police released Sumaoang without charges.

Stoesser was charged with first-degree robbery and first-degree assault. His bail was set at $50,000.

Yurkovic was charged with first-degree robbery. Her bail was set at $5,000.

Stoesser and Yurkovic were held at the Hilo police cellblock until their initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon (February 21).

Hawaii Most Popular State in the Nation

According to Public Policy Polling, Hawaii is the most popular state:

Click to see the full list

Americans generally have a favorable view of most states.  Only five are in negative territory, led by California (27% favorable and 44% unfavorable), Illinois (19-29), New Jersey (25-32), Mississippi (22-28), and Utah (24-27).  Only seven other states have net-positive ratings in the single digits, and another breaks even (Louisiana).

54% see Hawaii positively and only 10% negatively, followed in the top ten by Colorado (44-9), Tennessee (48-14), South Dakota (42-8), Virginia (45-13), Montana (39-7), Alaska (46-17), Oregon (43-14), and North Carolina and Pennsylvania (each 40-11).  Ten others are in positive territory by at least 21 points.

There are also some differences across demographic lines.  Women have a higher opinion of New York by 27 points more than men, Massachusetts by 22 points, Delaware and California by 16, New Hampshire by 15, Vermont and Illinois by 13, and Connecticut by 11, while men see North Dakota more favorably by 17 points, South Carolina by 15, Wyoming 14, Montana 13, and Iowa and South Dakota 10.

Democrats’ favorite states include Hawaii (62-7), Washington (50-10), Massachusetts (49-9), Oregon (46-6), Vermont (46-9), Colorado (45-8), and New York (51-15), and their least favorites are led by Texas (17-51), Alabama (13-45), and Mississippi (13-41).  Republicans love Alaska (65-3) and Texas (66-9), and absolutely hate California (12-68), followed distantly by Illinois (15-44) and Massachusetts (19-47).  So the greatest partisan gap is for California, which Democrats like 91 points more than Republicans do, followed by Texas, which is favored more by Republicans by 82 points.

Black voters dislike 10 of the 14 Southern states.  The only ones they like are North Carolina (their second favorite overall after Hawaii, at 42-8), Virginia (36-13), Tennessee (36-15), Maryland (32-13), and Florida (34-18).  Their least favorite state overall is Alabama (14-56), then Mississippi (15-51), and Texas (17-44).

Full results here

3.3 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes the Big Island Today

Magnitude 3.3
Location 19.302°N, 155.785°W
Depth 10.8 km (6.7 miles)
  • 19 km (12 miles) SE (146°) from Honaunau-Napoopoo, HI
  • 22 km (14 miles) N (355°) from Hawaiian Ocean View, HI
  • 25 km (16 miles) SSE (150°) from Captain Cook, HI
  • 52 km (32 miles) SSE (154°) from Kalaoa, HI
  • 86 km (53 miles) WSW (239°) from Hilo, HI
  • 308 km (192 miles) SE (136°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles); depth +/- 0.3 km (0.2 miles)
Parameters Nph= 60, Dmin=10 km, Rmss=0.11 sec, Gp= 83°,
M-type=duration magnitude (Md), Version=1
Event ID hv60312656

Census Bureau Releasing More Data for Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa and Maryland

The U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau IS CURRENTLY CONDUCTING SURVEYS IN HAWAII.  The American Community Survey is just one of the studies that the Census does on an on going basis.

Next week the Census Bureau will be releasing more information for Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa and Maryland.

Next week, the U.S. Census Bureau will release the 2010 Census Summary File 2 for Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa and Maryland. During December through April, the Census Bureau will provide statistics for states on a flow basis. These Summary File 2 tables will add a new layer of detail to the population and housing topics released last year from the 2010 Census. Information, such as relationship and homeownership, previously available only for an area’s entire population will now be available for specific race and ethnic groups in that community.

Summary File 2 will be available for up to 331 population groups and each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The information will be available for a variety of geographic areas, down to the census tract level.

The Summary File 2 for these states will be available on an embargoed basis for accredited media who are registered for access Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. The embargo will be lifted and the information released publicly Thursday, March 1 at 12:01 a.m.

To apply for embargo access, go to our Newsroom at and click on “Embargoed Releases.” Please review the Embargo Policy carefully before submitting the embargo registration form.

Online Press Kit:
For more information about the release of Summary File 2, please visit