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Dr. James Weatherford Files Nomination Papers for Hawaii County Council District 4 Seat

Hawaii Paradise Park resident Dr. James Weatherford filed his official nomination papers today to run for Hawaii County Council District 4 seat.

He stated the following on his “Public Facebook site“:

Filed the nomination papers today! At long last.
As of today, Fred Blas and myself are the only candidates to file in District 4.
Also submitted for validation (what is hoped to be) the last of signatures for public funding. Will be back at the Elections Office tomorrow afternoon to confirm that. If I then have the 200 total needed, will proceed with paperwork that will get me certified as a comprehensive public funded candidate. Campaign funds will follow within 10 days. Then, it will be all about campaign visibility.

Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts 2012 Lifetime Achievement Awards Announced

The Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts (“HARA”) presents the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Awards (“LTA”) on May 5th, at the Ala Moana Hotel, and is proud to honor the following outstanding individuals and groups (in alphabetical order):

Since the 1960’s, The Aliis, in all forms, remain as legendary royalty in Hawaii’s musical history.  Through the years, members included Rudy Aquino, Benny Chong, Joe Mundo, Manny Lagodlagod, Al Akana, Carlos Barboza, Bobby King, Danny Couch, and L.D. Cabral.

Pua Almeida, hanai son and protégé of prolific composer John Kameaaloha Almeida, was a gifted guitarist, bassist, and steel guitarist, with an exceptional tenor voice.  In Pua’s relatively brief life, he tirelessly performed his beloved Hawaiian music and recorded a musical legacy for future generations to enjoy.

Since imitating his Chinese babysitter’s Hakkah dialect at the age of 5, Frank Delima has kept the people of Hawaii laughing with his kind-spirited ethnic humor.  In 1980, Delima created the Frank De Lima Student Enrichment Program, combining his comedic ability with his Catholic Youth Organization experience to work with children.

Countless successes got their first break in the column inches of Wayne Harada’s Showbiz columns.  The Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts gratefully acknowledges the lifetime of contributions to Hawaii’s entertainment community by a man who stood at the center of it all for over four decades

Many of the anthems that we sing in tribute to Maui island’s majestic mountains, verdant valleys, and brilliant beaches were composed by “Aunty Alice Johnson.”  Known as the “Songbird of Maui,” her lilting soprano voice could soar above both combos and choirs, alike, as she shared her own special songs in praise of the Valley Isle of Maui.

The consummate emcee, entertainer, TV and radio personality, and actor, James Halolena Kahoano, Jr. has led a distinguished and unique career that has spanned decades and the globe.  In 1977, Krash Kealoha, Honolulu Skylark, and Kimo Kahoano began the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards as a radio promotion, and 35 years later, the “Hokus” continue to thrive.

A full-blooded native Hawaiian born on Niihau, Wilfred Nalani “Moe” Keale is revered as an integral part of the Hawaiian music renaissance and a key player in the rediscovery of Hawaiian values.  He will be remembered as an entertainer, an actor, and a healer.

The first version of The Lim Family consisted of Elmer Lim, Sr. (dad) on rhythm guitar, Mary Ann Neula Lim (mom) and Nanette (Nani) on ukulele, Elmer, Jr. (Sonny) on guitar, and Charmaine on bass.  When Charmaine left for college, Lorna was recruited at age 13 to step in on bass.  The Lim Family has excelled in every aspect of Hawaiian music and dance, and gained world acclaim, but continue to represent strong Hawaiian family values.

Ihilani Miller, “The Voice of the South Pacific,” is remembered as one of Hawaii’s most cherished “aunties” of Hawaiian music.  The talented dancer, singer and composer performed on the mainland for several years, including appearances on “The Ed  Sullivan Show” and “The Perry Como Show,” and also perfomed in Europe and throughout Hawaii.

Nalani-alua Yvonne Olds has distinguished herself as a singer, dancer, musician, composer, producer, director, actress, recording artist, and lecturer on Hawaiian history and culture.  She has sung with Royal Hawaiian Band, performed at Carnegie Hall, and toured nationally and internationally.

Nicknamed “Lady Fingers,” Betty Loo Taylor’s parents recognized her gift at the age of 3.  Decades and countless accomplishments and recognitions later, she continues to perform regularly in Waikiki on the weekends, and at special engagements.  She has accompanied local and international jazz greats, such as Jimmy Borges, Ethel Azama, Melveen Leed, Azure McCall, Anita O’Day, Tony Bennett, Wynton Marsalis, Al Jarreau, and many more.

Its history parallels the history of Hawaii itself, from an independent Monarchy, to a Republic, to an American territory, and finally, to the Fiftieth State of the United States of America.  The history of the band and its bandmasters are the foundation of band music in Hawaii.  Today, under the direction of Clark Bright, the Royal Hawaiian Band continues to be the only full-time municipal band in the United States.

2011 Lifetime Achievement Award went to Jacqueline Leilani “Skylark” Rossetti for her extensive work in promoting Hawaiian Music.




WHEN:     SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2012
10:00 a.m.  Doors Open (Media may check in at “Media Check-In” table)
10:15 a.m.  No-host Cocktail Reception
10:30 a.m.  Performance by the Royal Hawaiian Band, 2012 Industry Award Honoree.
11:15 a.m.  Pule and Lunch
11:45 p.m.  Program Begins

  • 11:45 a.m. –  First five LTA tributes and the Royal Hawaiian Band tribute for the Industry Award.(Order:  Royal Hawaiian Band, Alice Johnson, Ihilani Miller, Nalani Olds, Pua Almeida, and The Lim Family)
  • 12:20 p.m. –  Performance by The Lim Family
  • 12:30 p.m. –  Formal presentation of Hoku LTA Award by HARA President and others.
  • 12:45 p.m. –  Performance by Betty Loo Taylor and Friends
  • 12:55 p.m. –  Second set of six LTA tributes (Order: Betty Loo Taylor, Wayne Harada, Frank Delima, Moe Keale, Kimo Kahoano and The Aliis)
  • 1:25 p.m. –  Performance by The Aliis
  • 1:35 p.m. –  Formal presentation of Hoku LTA Award by HARA President and others.
  • 2:00 p.m. –  Hawaii Aloha

WHERE:    Ala Moana Hotel

HOW:       Tickets are $100 General, $85 Kamaaina, $75 HARA Members

For Na Hoku Hanohano event and ticket information, please:  Go to www.nahokumusicfestival.com or call HARA at (808) 593-9424.  E-mail info@nahokumusicfestival.com

“We hope the public will join us in honoring these truly great individuals and groups that have made a major impact on Hawaii’s music and entertainment industries.  Tickets are available online or by calling or emailing HARA,” said Kuuipo Kumukahi, HARA President.  “We also want to say ‘mahalo’ to Hailama Farden for coordinating this special event, and to Ala Moana Hotel for their support and hospitality.”


Part of the month-long Mele Mei 2012, and sponsored by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts, Ala Moana Hotel and other partners, this music festival offers the public a unique chance to experience a rich cultural interchange, making the connections between music, our culture, and the spirit of aloha, through interesting and unique workshops, demonstrations, performances and exhibitions, as follows:

DATE                     EVENT                                                 LOCATION
Friday, April 27      Public Opening Event & Media Day     The Willows
Saturday, May 5    Lifetime Achievement Awards            Ala Moana Hotel
Friday, May 25       Workshops, Day 1                                  Hawaii Convention Center
Saturday, May 26   Workshops, Day 2                                  Hawaii Convention Center
Sunday, May 27      Na Hoku Hanohano Awards                  Hawaii Convention Center

Ala Moana Hotel – The Kamaaina Favorite, is the “Official Hotel of the 35th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and Music Festival.”  Renowned for its exceptional island hospitality, Ala Moana Hotel presents guests with a host of impressive amenities and services.  The upscale property offers a collection of diverse in-house dining options, contemporary meeting and banquet facilities, a relaxing lounge and energetic nightclub, as well as an expansive pool deck, sauna and fitness center.   Centrally located, Ala Moana Hotel is nearby famous Waikiki Beach, adjacent to Ala Moana Center, the largest open-air mall in America, across from the Hawaii Convention Center and a short stroll to picturesque Ala Moana Beach Park.

For more information on Ala Moana Hotel, please visit www.alamoanahotel.com.  Festival participants must call (808) 955-4811 to get the special Na Hoku Hanohano rates – just ask for the “Hokus” rates.  These rates will be honored May 23-30, 2012, only.

Started in May 2011, Mele Mei is a month-long celebration of the unique music of Hawaii.  It encompasses workshops, concerts, award ceremonies, and even a Guinness World Record attempt, and culminates with the Na Hoku Hanohano Music Festival and 35th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.  The 2012 Mele Mei events will be held throughout Waikiki at various hotels, on the beach, at restaurants, the Hawaii Convention Center, and other venues.  For more information, please visit www.melemei.com.

Hawaii Foreclosure Reform Bill Passes Final Floor Vote

House Bill 1875 HD2 SD2 CD1, amending the mortgage foreclosure law to provide additional protections for Hawaii’s homeowners, passed its final floor vote before the full House and Senate today with a combined vote of 73 Ayes and 3 Noes.

“Once again, we won one for the homeowners, and I couldn’t be more pleased,” said Rep. Robert Herkes (District 5 – Puna, Ka’u, South Kona, North Kona) who serves as the Chair of the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce.  “The bill we passed last year had its critics, but our primary focus has always on helping and protecting the homeowner.”

Last Session, Governor Abercrombie signed Senate Bill 651 into law as Act 48 to protect Hawaii owner-occupants from predatory tactics of financial lending institutions.

The mortgage foreclosure task force – a legislatively created group composed of stakeholders with diverse interests including consumer advocates and professionals representing and affected by the mortgage industry, did a thorough, comprehensive analysis of Act 48.  Their recommendations to refine Act 48 and to otherwise preserve the intent and spirit of the law were presented in HB1875.

The task force recommended that the legislature:  (1) temper the provision relating to the Unfair Deceptive Acts or Practices (UDAP) law so lenders need not fear UDAP liability for minor violations;  (2) make permanent the process allowing owner-occupants to convert their non-judicial foreclosure to a judicial foreclosure; (3) establish a separate non-judicial foreclosure and lien collection process for associations; (4) give similar rights and obligations to planned community associations; (5) provide specific language for informational notices to the public on the foreclosure process; and (6) provide technical clarifications and improvements of various provisions in Act 48.

The legislature adopted virtually all of the task force recommendations – with a few modifications and further amendments.

The bill fully repeals the Part I non-judicial process which was the mechanism used to non-judicially foreclose on homeowners before its moratorium under Act 48.

Under HB1875, a comprehensive lien collection and foreclosure process for condominium, homeowner, and planned community associations is established, which is in harmony with Hawaii’s mortgage foreclosure process.

The bill also calls for lenders’ attorneys filing judicial foreclosures on residential property to sign an affirmation stating that she or he verified the bank’s legal standing as well as the accuracy of the documents submitted to court.  This requirement is akin to a court rule that has been applied to all judicial foreclosures in New York State.

The publication requirements for auction notices will also be revised to encourage competitive pricing while balancing the need for broad dissemination of auction information.

State agencies will also be authorized to publish auction notices electronically for a significantly lower price than print notices; so long as one print notice (as opposed to three) is published at least two weeks prior to an auction sale.  The DCCA will spearhead this effort by creating a website for property subject to the dispute resolution program.

House Bill 1875 also makes the dispute resolution program permanent.

HB1875 may be viewed at:


Big Island Police Investigating Puna Robbery – Looking to Question 19-Year-Old

Big Island police are investigating a robbery Tuesday morning (May 1, 2012) in Puna.

In response to a 3:37 a.m. call, Puna patrol officers received a report that a 43-year-old Pāhoa man was at a 24-hour convenience store in Pāhoa at around 2 a.m. when an acquaintance parked in the area offered him a ride home.

The victim accepted the ride and was driven to an area off of Kaʻohe Homestead Road in Pāhoa, where the suspect reportedly assaulted him and removed undisclosed items. The suspect and two other men entered an early model dark green Nissan Pathfinder and drove from the area.

The victim sustained minor injuries but declined medical treatment.

The incident is classified as a second-degree robbery, second-degree terroristic threatening and first-degree burglary.

Kale Thomas Ramangmou

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section want to question a 19-year-old Pāhoa man in connection with this investigation. Kale Thomas Ramangmou is described as Filipino, about 5-foot-2, about 140 pounds with a stocky build, a tan complexion, short black hair and brown eyes.

Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed the incident contact Detective Ernest Matsumoto Jr. by phone at 961-2378 or by email him at ematsumoto@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective Derek Morimoto by phone at 961-2380 or by email at dmorimoto@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.

West Hawaii Slated to Receive Captial Improvement Funds – The Projects

West Hawai’i is slated to receive funds for new capital improvement projects based on the state budget which passed out of conference committee in the early morning hours of Saturday, April 28, 2012. The budget bill now goes to the full House and Senate for final vote, and, if passed, will be sent to the Governor to be signed into law.

Some of the major projects include $7.5 million for West Hawai’i Community College at Palamanui, and Honokohau small boat harbor for critical upgrades on parking, roads, water systems, electrical systems and other miscellaneous areas in need of repair.

“I am extremely pleased that the 2012 supplemental budget includes additional capital improvement for West Hawaii facilities,” said Representative Denny Coffman, (House District 6 (North Kona, Keauhou, Kailua-Kona, Honokohau).   “In particular, the new community college facilities being constructed a mile north of the airport next to the Palamanui development project is important because it expands the educational opportunities for West Hawai’i residents.”

“The community has waited a long time for the funding to build a community college campus in West Hawai’i”, says Representative Cindy Evans, House District 7 (North Kona, South Kohala). “Now we have to encourage the University and the Governor to make this dream a reality by building it”.

The West Hawai’i projects receiving funding are:

  • Kona International Airport at Ke’ahole                      $10,400,000.00
  • West Hawaii Community College – Palamanui          $  7,500,000.00
  • Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai’i Authority      $  6,300,000.00
  • Honokohau Small Boat Harbor                                  $     650,000.00
  • Kawaihae Harbor                                                        $11,500,000.00
  • Kona Community Hospital                                         $  6,050,000.00
  • Waikoloa Public Library                                             $     800,000.00
  • Kamuela Vacuum Cooling Plant                                $   1,000,000.00
  • Waimea Irrigation System                                          $        40,000.00
  • Kohala Mountain Road                                              $   3,600,000.00
  • Kohala Hospital                                                          $   2,200,000.00
  • Laiopua 2020                                                              $      400,000.00

In addition, the supplemental budget includes $250 million for repair and maintenance for public facilities statewide, including public schools.


“We anticipate that many of the schools in West Hawaii will benefit from the increased repair and maintenance schedule, and this should also create more construction jobs for Hawaii Island,” added Rep. Evans.

31-Year-Old Dies in Saddle Road Crash

A 31-year-old Hilo man died Tuesday (May 1) from injuries he sustained in a two-vehicle crash on Saddle Road, .3 miles west of the 19-mile-marker.

The man was identified as Calsey B. Santos, of a Hilo address.

Responding to a 5:23 a.m. call, South Hilo patrol officers determined that Santos was operating a 1994 Nissan four-door sedan and traveling west on Saddle Road when he crossed the centerline and sideswiped a 2005 UD Flatbed tow truck that was traveling east.

The driver of the tow truck, a 48-year-old Kailua-Kona man and his passenger, a 58-year-old Hilo man, were not injured.

Santos was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 8:07 a.m.

It is unknown at this time if speed, alcohol or drugs were involved.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

This is the 12th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with eight at this time last year.