Police Looking for Witnesses to Man Who Threw Large Rock Through Van Window on Highway 130

Big Island police are looking for witnesses to a large rock being thrown at a moving motor vehicle.

A 59-year-old Pāhoa man reported that he was driving a van on Highway 130 near Pāhoa around 2:10 p.m. Tuesday (April 10) when a man on the side of the road threw a large rock through the passenger-side windshield of the van.

No one was injured in the incident.

John Vezina (Facebook profile picture)

Police located the suspect, 49-year-old John Vezina of Hilo, and arrested him on suspicion of first-degree criminal property damage. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

The van is described as a 1995 maroon and bronze Chevy Astro. It was traveling on Highway 130 in the Keaʻau direction near the intersection of Highway 132.

Police ask anyone who saw the incident or who saw anyone throwing rocks at vehicles to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Joel Field by phone at 961-2381 or by email at jfield@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Department of Health Cites Five Companies with Air Permit Violations

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) Clean Air Branch has issued notices of violations and orders against five companies located on Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i, Maui and O‘ahu for air permit violations.

The violations were either self-reported, or discovered during an inspection.

The following companies were cited:

  • Tesoro Hawai‘i Corporation (Tesoro) for various opacity violations on the vacuum unit charge heater, package boiler, and crude heater No. 1 and 2. Tesoro is a crude oil distillation facility with a capacity of 95,000 barrel per day and is located in Campbell Industrial Park, O‘ahu. The violation was self-reported and a penalty of $26,700 has been assessed. Currently, negotiations are being conducted regarding a consent order.
  • Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. Waiau unit 8 for an opacity exceedence on September 1, 2011. The six-minute opacity average was 68 percent during an unscheduled equipment shut down, which exceeded the opacity permit limit of 60 percent. The Waiau generating station is located in Pearl City, O‘ahu. The violation was self-reported and a penalty of $6,000 has been assessed. Currently, negotiations are being conducted regarding a consent order.
  • O. Thronas, Inc., dba Kaua‘i Aggregates for failing to conduct the 2010 annual performance tests for opacity on the 700 ton per hour stone quarrying and processing plant located at Halewili Road, Wahiawa, Kaua‘i. The violation was discovered during an annual inspection, and a penalty of $5,100 has been paid for the violation.
  • Kohala Coast Concrete and Precast, LLC. for various permit violations on the 170 cubic yards per hour concrete batch plant located at Kawaihae, Hawai‘i. The violation was discovered during a complaint investigation and a penalty of $5,300 has been assessed.
  • Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S) for burning approximately 25 acres of Field 716 on November 4, 2011 without prior DOH written approval. HC&S operates a sugar refinery located at Puunene, Maui and has an agricultural burning permit (AGP) with the DOH.  Field 76 was not a field allowed to be burned on the AGP and the violation was self-reported. A penalty of $2,400 has been assessed for the violation.

The DOH Clean Air Branch (CAB) protects the people and environment of Hawai‘i by monitoring air quality and regulating businesses that release pollutants into the air. The CAB reviews and approves air permits, evaluates and enforces state and federal air standards, conducts inspections, and investigates reported incidents related to outdoor air quality. Through the air permit process, the DOH ensures companies comply with state and federal emission standards to minimize air pollution impacts on the public.

In general, penalties are assessed on violators to remove any economic benefit they may have gained from their noncompliance and put them in a worse situation than those who comply with the law. All fines are paid into a revolving special fund used to prevent or minimize damage to the environment. Parties have the right to request a hearing to contest DOH orders.

Mālamalama Waldorf School’s 3rd Annual Spring Faire and Earth Day Event

Habitat for Humanity will be doing a CFL light bulb exchange as well as on-site collection of usable building materials for the ReStore at Mālamalama Waldorf School’s 3rd Annual Spring Faire and Earth Day Event, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the school’s Hawaiian Paradise Park campus on the corner of 26th and Maku‘u Drive, Saturday April 21st.

Malamalama Waldorf Students Julia Evenrud & Bodhi Arakawa

“It’s an opportunity for the community to help others build homes while spring-cleaning their own,” said Event Organizer, Kim Arakawa.  Those wishing to donate will be able to drive right up to the donation area—saving a trip to Hilo.

“We will also be collecting canned good donations for the Food Basket, giving each person who donates an opportunity to be entered in a chance to win prize drawing”, said Arakawa.

Other featured community booths will be:  Mokupāpapa Discovery Center, HPD’s Keiki ID Program, Bee Love Hawai‘i, Recycle Hawai‘i, The Hawai‘i Island Sustainability Organization, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s Aquaponics and The US Forestry Service with Smokey the Bear.

“We have a lot of really fun activities for families, with the Zoo Choo, Face Painting, Henna Art, Candle Dipping, Medieval Games, a massage booth, all day entertainment, great food, tons of free craft activities for the keiki, Waldorf puppet shows, frequent prize drawings, a fantastic silent auction and easy parking,” said Arakawa.

“The event is also a open house, giving the community at large an opportunity to see our beautiful learning environment, learn about our educational philosophy and experience our nurturing Waldorf approach,” said Administrative Chair Kehaulani Costa.   “The event really helps raise the funds for our much needed tuition assistance program, which provides scholarships and major tuition support to over 70% of our families,” Costa continued.  And this year, in addition to the $2500 new enrolling student discount, new families who pick up the Spring Faire coupon will also receive a $500 discount off of 2012-2013 tuition–for a total of $3000 off of next year’s tuition.  For more information please call, 982-7701.

20 Year-Old Hilo Man Dies in Vehicle-Bicycle Collision – Driver Arrested After Leaving the Scene

A 20-year-old Hilo man died Wednesday (April 11) in a vehicle-bicycle collision in Hilo.

The victim’s name is being withheld pending positive identification.

Shortly before 7:29 a.m., a 40-year-old Volcano woman was traveling south on Kinoʻole Street south of Ohea Street in a 2005 Toyota Tacoma when she struck a male riding a bicycle in the same direction. The Tacoma then struck a utility pole, severing it.

The driver fled the scene traveling south on Kinoʻole Street. An off-duty police officer stopped her at Palai Street.

Fire/rescue personnel took the victim to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 8:16 a.m. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Alison Taylor Facebook picture

The driver, Alison E. Taylor of Volcano, was arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide, accident involving death or serious injury, driving under the influence of intoxicants, failure to render aid and driving with a suspended license. She is being held at the Hilo police cell block while Traffic Enforcement Unit officers continue the investigation.

This is the 10th fatality this year compared with seven at this time last year.

Congressional Candidate Bob Marx on Jobs, the Economy, GMO-Labeling, and Education.

Speaking to a large crowd at the Hilo Woman’s Club this evening, 2ndCongressional District Candidate Bob Marx addressed a variety of issues including Jobs and the Economy, GMO-Labeling, and Education.

On education, Mr. Marx responded to the first question of a young woman in the audience who asked about the burden of her student loans: “New college graduates begin their careers with an average of $35,000 in student loan debt, in addition to any family repayment obligations or credit card debt they may have incurred. They face unemployment rates in the low teens, and most federally-backed student loans, like the popular Stafford program, come knocking on their doors immediately upon graduation and cannot be discharged or forgiven even through bankruptcy filing. And this Republican Congress is threatening to double the rates? That’s preposterous.”

“The near economic future for almost all college students will, unfortunately, be limited by the burden of the student loan repayment. How can we ask our kids and working families to put themselves through this?”  Marx asked, rhetorically.

Mr. Marx explained that many of the new graduates today have education debt higher than the cost of a modest home:  “That’s crazy,” he said, “the size of the debt has enormous future effects on the ability to get an affordable loan for a car to get to work or for a home to live in. To get a very low rate on a loan today, creditors look at one thing: debt-to-income ratio over an extended period. Are you good for it? They ask. Well, I think our young people and those who want to get back to work are good for it, and we should be there to help them out.”

Of course, it’s not just the college graduate who is getting hit. Many people on unemployment have seen their jobs evaporate and are left with unmarketable, less demanded skills that they once relied on for their livelihoods and well-being.

Marx responded, “If someone is out of work and has the drive to work, even in a new trade—like learning how to be a radiology lab tech, for example—then I think we, the same government and business that outsourced their last job to China or India, should be happy to contribute.”

For many young people, the overall cost of a college or university education can be managed or reduced by utilizing the Community College system for their lower division coursework and then transferring to a four-year College or University. Marx told the group, “I put myself through college working part-time and through Law School working full-time, so I know it can be done!”

When asked by a member of the audience if there was “a way out of the student-loan trap,” Marx said: “First of all, I don’t see it as a trap. True, for most, there is a financial obligation undertaken to get a higher education, and as with any large debt it may limit your future borrowing until it has been repaid. But the value of a four-year degree or a two-year certification program far outweighs the short-term burden. There is no greater investment an individual can make—or a country for that matter— than on education.”

Bob Marx restated his promise: “I will, as your Representative, work with every member of the Congress, regardless of ideology, to increase funding for and improve access to higher education and continual re-training for all Americans.”

Canadian Man from Alberta Drowns off the Kona Coast

A Canadian man apparently drowned Wednesday morning (April 11) in waters off Kailua-Kona.

The victim has been identified as 49-year-old William Savage of Okotoks in the Canadian province of Alberta.

At 11:20 a.m., Kona patrol officers responded to Kona Community Hospital, where they learned that Savage had been part of a scuba diving tour in waters north of Honokōhau.

A large surge reportedly knocked him off some rocks and into the water. When he failed to surface, tour members pulled him onto the boat , began CPR and took him to Honokōhau Harbor. From there, fire/rescue personnel took him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:23 a.m.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Honoka’a Jazz Band’s “Big City Tour” – April 19th – 22nd

In honor of National Jazz Appreciation Month, the Honoka’a Jazz Band from the Big Island has scheduled its annual “Big City Tour” of Oahu with several performances and appearances from April 19-22.

The Honoka'a Jazz Band

One of the young group’s first free performances will be at the Hawaii State Capitol Rotunda. After opening remarks from Representative Mark Nakashima and Senator Malama Solomon, the band will go on at 10 a.m.

On Sat., April 21, the 30-member band will perform at the Bishop Museum as part of the YMCA Healthy Kids Day.  Later that day, they will open the Twilight Jazz at Helumoa Concert in The Royal Grove at the Royal Hawaiian Center at 7 p.m. Joining the line-up will be The Kit Ebersbach Combo and Starr Kalahiki, performing at 8 p.m.

The Honoka’a Jazz Band was organized in 1988 by school musical director Gary Washburn. Since then, after almost 25 years of annual repertoire changes to accommodate the “personality” of the band as students graduate, the youth jazz band still remains the pride and joy of Honoka‘a High. In 2010, the music program at Honoka’a High School was selected by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM) as one of 138 schools in the United States with an outstanding music program and commitment to music education.

They are also the recipients of the prestigious 2011 Grammy Signature Schools Enterprise Award. Gary Washburn, the band director, recently received the 2011 Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Award from the National Society of High School Scholars. In 2012, the band performed for the Edison Learning Convention in the Ilikai Hotel in Honolulu and will be featured in the June edition of the “Hana Hou” Magazine.

This year the band shows off a repertoire from a variety of music spanning from the 1940s to present including the music of Paul Simon, Michael Buble, Etta James, Ruth Brown, Brazil 66, Christina Aguilera, Maceo Parker, Aretha Franklin, as well as a special Cuban song “Mis Dos Pequenas”.

“With all of the emphasis on math and science, it is crucial to always remember that it is music and the arts that provide us with inspiration,” said Rep. Nakashima, (District 1 – North Kohala, South Kohala, Hamakua, North Hilo, South Hilo).

“Music, drama and the arts provide our students with the opportunity to exercise their creativity, act on their inspiration, and imagine the possibilities,” he added. “Teachers like Mr. Washburn provide students with the venue to explore this realm and to contribute profoundly to our quality of life.”

“I strongly encourage everyone to take time out of their busy schedules and listen to the music produced by these very talented youths,” said Senator Malama Solomon, (District 1 – Waimea, Hamakua, North Hilo, Rural South Hilo, Hilo). “Under the direction of their band director Gary Washburn, these students have demonstrated how music education has benefitted them to be successful in school and in life.”

Honoka’a Jazz Band 2012 Big City Tour April 19-22, Celebrating National Jazz Appreciation Month

  • Jazz at the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial and a Special Observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Thursday, April 19, 2012 from noon-1p.m. For Admission Information Contact: Ms. Bobi Baclaan, Education & Events Coordinator (808) 455-1600 ext. 247
  • Jazz at Ala Moana Center Stage, Thursday, April 19, 2012 from 7-7:45 p.m. Free and open to the public
  • Interview with Howard Dicus, Hawaii News Now at 7:15a.m.
  • State Celebration of National Jazz Appreciation Month, Hawaii State Capitol Rotunda, Friday, April 20, 2012 at 10a.m. FREE and open to public (808) 586-6680
  • A Night of Jazz at the Arcadia, Friday, April 20, 2012 from 7-8p.m. 1434 Punahou Street (808) 983-1808
  • YMCA Healthy Kids Day at the Bishop Museum, Saturday, April 21, 2012, 9:00a.m. to 2:00p.m. Event Time 9:00 a.m. Honok’a’a Jazz Band Performance FREE Admission for Kama’aina and Military with ID. Out-of-state guests and guests who wish to enter Bishop Museum after 2:00 pm will be charged the normal entry fee. (808) 946-0292 Description: Healthy Kids Day is a family event that encourages parents and their children to come out and and have fun while learning about being healthy. There are activities, games and prizes for the whole ‘ohana!  While at Bishop Museum, check out Sesame Street Presents: The Body which offers an engaging, free-flowing learning experience set in the fun, familiar and reassuring world of Sesame Street. The loveable Sesame Street Muppets anchor an exciting collection of hands-on, interactive and multimedia experiences that allow children to explore the human body and how to keep it healthy. Each exhibit area has multiple activities to provide age appropriate and exciting learning opportunities for children at a variety of developmental levels.
  • *Don’t forget to bring a canned-good to support the Hawaii Foodbank; the Hawaii Foodbank’s Annual Food Drive is happening on the same day.
  • Twilight Jazz at Helumoa, Get Your GROVE on! Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki, Saturday, April 21, 2012, 7p.m. Honoka’a Jazz Band 8p.m. Kit Ebersbach Combo with Starr Kalāhiki FREE and Open to the Public
  • Earth Day Beach Cleanup and Celebration, Sunday, April 22, 2012, Makapu’u Meadows at Sea Life Park, 9:30a.m.-12p.m. Cleanup 9:30a.m. – 12p.m. 12-5p.m. Celebration 12-1p.m. Honoka’a Jazz Band Performs Contact: Lindsey Kesel, 303-952-0452 www.sustainablecoastlineshawaii.org Description: In celebration of Earth Day and to commemorate Sustainable Coastlines 1-year anniversary, the nonprofit organization is hosting a morning beach cleanup followed by an environmentally-focused fair and concert at Sea Life Park from noon to 5 pm. Cleanup volunteers get $5 entry into the fair and free lunch. The general public is also welcome to attend for $15 adult admission and $10 for keiki.

Kauai Polynesian Festival “U Tink U Get Talent” – Big Island Auditions