3.8 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes West Hawaii

A 3.8 magnitude earthquake shook West Hawaii this morning:

Magnitude 3.8
Location 19.024°N, 157.030°W
Depth 23.3 km (14.5 miles)
  • 128 km (80 miles) WSW (238°) from Kailua, HI
  • 128 km (80 miles) WSW (242°) from Kahaluu-Keauhou, HI
  • 129 km (80 miles) WSW (240°) from Holualoa, HI
  • 133 km (82 miles) SW (234°) from Kalaoa, HI
  • 218 km (135 miles) WSW (250°) from Hilo, HI
  • 267 km (166 miles) SSE (162°) from Honolulu, HI

DLNR Holds Public Scoping Meeting for Proposed Public Shooting Range Near Waikoloa

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will hold a public scoping meeting for a proposed public shooting range at Pu‘u Anahulu, in the North Kona district of the island of Hawai‘i. The informational meeting will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6, at the West Hawai‘i Civic Center’s Community Meeting Hale at 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway in Kailua-Kona.

“DLNR supports the need for a safe and regulated public shooting range for hunter education and practice. We are initiating a master plan process and associated environmental assessment for a public shooting range in the ahupua‘a of Pu‘u Anahulu,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson. “This scoping meeting is to help us gain input about issues that are important to the public, in advance of future range design and the environmental assessment process.”

Funding for a master plan and environmental assessment has been secured through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson Act).

The project site is comprised of one square mile (approximately 640 acres) within TMK (3) 7-1-003:001 located within the Pu‘u Anahulu Game Management area and mauka of Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway.

The site is located immediately adjacent to the West Hawai‘i sanitary landfill.

Range elements are anticipated to include public rifle, pistol, bow hunting/archery, sporting clays, skeet, trap and airgun ranges that conform to safety requirements and are consistent with and meet the niches for recreational hunting and shooting sports. Supporting facilities are expected to include structures to house management and operations, as well as a hunter education center, restrooms, picnic areas and parking.

For more information about the project or public scoping meeting, contact Catie Cullison at PBR Hawaii & Associates, Inc. at (808) 521-5631 or ccullison@pbrhawaii.com.

DLNR Proposes to Restore and Manage Watershed in Ka’u Forest Reserve

Draft environmental assessment now available for public comment

The Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) is seeking public comment on a Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) for a management plan for the 61,641-acre Ka‘ū Forest Reserve.

Aerial View of Kau Forest Reserve

As part of the public review process and environmental compliance under Hawai‘i Revised Statute 343, the DEA is now available for review and comment until June 22. It can be found online together with the management plan and cultural impact assessment at: http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw

“This management plan is part of the DLNR’s goal to increase protection of Hawai‘i’s forested watersheds, as well as to fulfill our mandate to restore native Hawaiian species such as the ‘Alalā and provide access and recreational opportunities to the people of Hawai‘i,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson.

The management plan responds to a need to maintain and restore a key watershed in the areas of Wood Valley, Pahāla, Wai‘ōhinu and Nā‘ālehu. It seeks to preserve a unique ecosystem with critically endangered plants and animals, and perpetuate natural resources vital to Hawaiian culture and practices. It may provide a suitable site to reintroduce ‘Alalā or Hawaiian Crow into the wild, and provide for continued and expanded public use, including hunting.

Proposed management actions include enhancing public access in some areas, fencing and ungulate removal from the most critical area(s), predator control to protect native forest birds, invasive plant removal and control, and native plant restoration. The plan also includes actions needed to reintroduce the ‘Alalā to the Ka‘ū Forest Reserve.

DOFAW is working with adjacent landowners to provide additional access, particularly across State-leased and private land below the Reserve, to ensure continued public access. Gates and step-overs will be installed at trails and access points along fences to facilitate access for hikers, hunters, gatherers, and others who use this area.

Nohea Ka‘awa, DOFAW outreach and education specialist, has been meeting with community members for the past eight months to share information about the Forest Reserve, its status, threats, value to people, and proposed actions to protect it from further damage by invasive, non-native plants and animals.

Ka‘awa said: “A lot of cultural knowledge about the Reserve that has been documented and is still practiced today is the knowledge passed down from our Ka‘ū kūpuna. We started gathering community input by talking with our kūpuna, and from there, everything else fell into place.

“We consulted and interviewed over 80 community members and actually had site visits with them up into the remote parts of the Ka‘ū Forest Reserve where we are planning some of our projects. There is a lot of support for this project from the community. The Ka‘ū hunters we met with were very interested in the project and some even volunteered themselves to help with the fencing and management work.”

Shanell Leilani Dedman, a Ka‘ū resident, Cultural Resource Specialist, and Makua member of Kūpuna Council for Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, is supportive of continued and expanded public use. She noted that “Access to the Ka‘u Forest Reserve for residents, especially to the Ka‘ū district, should be a priority. Protection of the forest for cultural, recreational and personal gathering rights among others is a positive step towards promoting stewardship. The Ka‘ū Forest Reserve are wahi kapu (sacred areas).”

Ka‘awa added that “DOFAW’s goal is to work with the Ka‘ū community throughout the implementation of the plan and to continue to provide programs that will educate future generations about the environment and how we are all connected.”

The Ka‘ū Forest Reserve was established in 1906 to protect these forests on the lower slopes of Mauna Loa to ensure a good water supply for the agricultural lands of Ka‘ū. Tunnels and springs in the Ka‘ū Forest Reserve are still used today for domestic use as well as agriculture. Much of the agriculture in Ka‘ū, including coffee, macadamia nuts, and ranching, depends on a supply of fresh, clean water from the springs and tunnels in the Reserve, and maintaining this water supply is vital for the future viability of agriculture and the Ka‘ū community. The Reserve’s native forests replenish springs and other groundwater, reduce flooding and erosion, provide habitat for unique species of plants and animals and are also a cultural, recreational and scenic resource for the community.

Questions regarding this project may be directed to Mililani Browning, Outreach Coordinator at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, at (808) 933-3171.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 47-Year-Old Honoka’a Man

* 5/24 UPDATE* he was located today safe and unharmed.

Big Island police are searching for a 47-year-old Honokaʻa man who was reported missing Wednesday (May 22).

Reynaldo Fernandez

Reynaldo Fernandez was last seen on May 15 in Paʻauhau. He is described as a Filipino, 5-foot-6, 165 pounds, with short black hair. He has the letters “RH” tattooed onto the web of his left hand.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts call Officer Romeo Fuiava 775-7533 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.

James Weatherford Cleared as “Independent” Council Candidate

Hawai’i County Council candidate James Weatherford of the newly drawn Puna Council District #4 has been certified for full public funding by the State Campaign Spending Commission.

James Weatherford

After gathering the signatures, $5 contributions and early support of 200 registered voters from the district, Weatherford’s campaign was cleared to receive full public funding in the amount of $16,300.00 for the primary race to be decided August 11, 2012.
“This is something important for me that I always share with the people I talk with,” said Weatherford. “The combination of public funding and my non-partisan status makes me independent — from special interest campaign contributors and from political parties. An independent voice is something that Puna needs and has not had for a long time.”

One of the main benefits of public election funding is that candidates can focus on the concerns of voters in the district. Dubbed “the reform that makes all reforms possible” by proponents like Voter-Owned Hawai’i, who successfully lobbied the legislature to enact the program in 2009, the public funding pilot for Hawai’i County Council is in its second of three election cycles. With his qualification for the program, Weatherford’s campaign will be fully-funded for the primary August 11th from the Hawai’i Election Campaign Fund. Revenue for the special fund comes from the voluntary contributions of state income tax payers and the fines paid by violators of campaign spending law.

As a publicly-funded candidate, Weatherford says he “will not accept any private campaign dollars from special interests based on-Island, in Honolulu or beyond.”

Weatherford’s opponent, one-term incumbent Fred Blas, is not using public funding. Typical privately financed campaigns rely on contributions from individuals, businesses and political action committees, either from within or outside the islands, who may each give up to $2000.00 a piece total, as permitted by law, for the the primary and general elections.

Eric Paul D’Almeida Announces Candidacy for Hawaii County Council District 1

Aloha, I am Eric Paul D’ Almeida.  I am from Wainaku and my Portuguese family came to Hawaii to find work at Wainaku Sugar Mill.

Eric Paul D’Almeida

My grandfather, a former Hawaii County Legislative Auditor, taught me about economics and local government.  It has seemed for a while now, that our County Council has been wanting to license and regulate most everything from where you can’t hunt or fish to paper or plastic bags at your grocery store.
The only effect of which is limiting your job opportunities, personal freedoms and taxing families security.
As our great Councilman Dominic Yagong leaves to enter the mayoral race.  We, in County Council Seat #1, are left with a choice; whether we want to keep a strong voice for personal freedoms or begin leadership which makes our decisions for us, without asking our opinion.
You deserve better than good intentions and endless regulations from your Councilperson.
That’s why I am announcing my desire to be your Councilman, for County Council #1.
I believe you are better served by first asking what you want, before making a decision.  I share your concerns, vision and values.
I believe that protecting your families personal freedoms, security, success is best achieved by getting local government out of your way, not narrowing the path or choosing it for you.  If you agree I would like your vote.

I am Eric Paul D’ Almeida, Mahalo.

Auto Body Hawaii Announces Senior Essay Contest Winner

Auto Body Hawaii has announced the winner of this year’s Senior Essay Contest answering the question: “How Can Businesses Better Serve Their Communities”.  All seniors students from schools from West & North Hawaii were invited to attend and many wonderful essays were received.

The winner is Brandt Mabuni from Makua Lani Christian School. Mr. Mabuni was awarded with a $1,000 cash prize at Makua Lani’s senior award event on May 24th. The Essay is posted on the Auto Body Hawaii website; www.autobodyhawaii.com.

Here is the winning essay:

Businesses are essential to the life of a community—in similar ways to how bones are essential to the life of the body. The support that bones provide is invaluable to the body as a whole. However, they are also vital in other functions like enabling movement, storing minerals, and creating blood. Likewise, I believe that a good business should be a multifunctioning entity that supports the community, enables change, builds community prosperity, and creates energy and life within a community. Completing these four functions in a community can be done in a variety of practical and creative ways, but it will be ineffective without one thing: authenticity. When this crucial element combines with the four functions above, both the business and the community around it will meet harmonious growth.

A business is not usually the first part of the community you think of as a strong foundation in times of need. But small and local businesses like Auto Body Hawaii are able to be these foundations that the people can lean on because they genuinely care about those around them. The community would be most impressed, if for example, they saw the employees of a company doing volunteer work cleaning up and repairing after a disaster like the tsunami last year. This could be done by closing the business down for a day or two and making volunteer work the tasks of the employees. This would advertise in a very positive way because it would impress the community with the idea that the business values community health even more than its profits. Once the company establishes a name of trust and integrity with the people, it becomes easier to serve the community.

A business also holds the capabilities to power the change that people often look for. It should gear itself towards a particular issue or two of the community that it can help. For example, here in West Hawaii a business could lead a community-wide campaign to save water, energy, or materials. A business could also lead a campaign for a global issue. When a company is willing to back an organization of goodwill ranging anywhere from The Salvation Army to the Water For Life project, people can identify with such projects because they know they can trust them. For example, a local business wanting to support water supply in third world countries could advertise for both themselves and the project by donating an amount of its profits to Water For Life. Distributing promotional materials to the public linking itself to the nonprofit organization would enable the business to hold events or rallies for global issues.

You reach the heart of the people by serving the issues at hand—no matter if it is on a local or global scale.

Two functions of bones—mineral storage and blood creation, are interrelated to each other, just as building community prosperity and building community life are. Building community prosperity is a process that occurs naturally by the work of collective business efforts if they are fiscally successful. However, a business that serves the people realizes that creating energy and life in the community is just as important as creating wealth because without the community spirit and unity, a society remains weak.

A business can bring this type of dynamism to the community by hosting events of all sorts, whether it be the annual Easter Egg Hunt, Relay for Life, Zumba Fridays, a cultural festival, or anything else. Even if these events are too large for a small local business to plan on its own, it can at least contribute some effort towards them so that the community sees that the business holds a high priority on serving the community.

However, people are naturally cynical and can easily see through a business that is merely putting on a cheap scheme to help its profits. To display that a business genuinely values service towards the community, simply be a business that values people, its employees, and its customers more than anything else. I believe small local businesses like Auto Body Hawaii already have the answer to be these things for the community; they just need the faith and support to do it.