Big Island Police Searching for Missing Puna Woman Who May Need Medical Attention

*UPDATE* Big Island police have located, 23-year-old Chardell Nihipali, who was reported missing. She was found unharmed in Hilo on Tuesday morning (June 5)

Big Island police are searching for a 23-year-old Puna woman reported as missing.

Chardell Nihipali

Chardell Nihipali was last seen in Kea’au last Sunday (May 27). She may be need of treatment for a medical condition.

Nihipali is described as a Hawaiian female, 5 foot 5 inches tall, 180 pounds, having a medium build with short black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a gray tank-top, black shorts and slippers.

Police ask that anyone with information on her whereabouts call 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.

Second 3.5 Magnitude Earthquake Hits the Big Island Today

Well this is the second 3.5 Magnitude Earthquake reported here on the Big Island in the last 12 hours:

Magnitude 3.5
Location 19.340°N, 155.283°W
Depth 1 km (~0.6 mile)
  • 13 km (8 miles) SSW (202°) from Volcano, HI
  • 22 km (14 miles) SW (227°) from Fern Forest, HI
  • 25 km (16 miles) SW (227°) from Eden Roc, HI
  • 46 km (28 miles) SSW (207°) from Hilo, HI
  • 344 km (214 miles) SE (129°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles)
Parameters Nph= 38, Dmin=2 km, Rmss=0.09 sec, Gp= 72°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=1
Event ID hv60355486

Hawaii County Mayoral Race… A Poll

Former Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim filed his official nomination papers to run for Hawaii County Mayor again which really throws an interesting twist into the mayoral race.

Many have speculated that if Kim did enter… it would cause many folks to not vote for Mayor Kenoi.

With the possible split of votes… this could very well open the door for Councilman Dominic Yagong to just slide in there as the elected mayor.

If the elections were held today, who would you vote for?

[polldaddy poll=6287836]

Man Swept Out to Sea Pronounced Dead on the Big Island

Big Island police have initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation in connection with a 29-year-old man whose body was found Monday morning after he was swept out to sea Saturday afternoon.

The victim has been identified as Ceasare Moses of Pāhala.

At 2:45 p.m. Saturday (June 2) Ka’ū officers and Fire Department personnel responded to a possible drowning off South Point near the lighthouse. Upon arrival, officers learned that Moses had been washed out to sea while throwing a fishing net with a friend.

The case was originally classified as a public accident.

Fire Department and Coast Guard personnel searched for the missing man over the weekend using sea craft and helicopters but were unable to locate him.

At 6:50 a.m. Monday, Fire Department personnel in a helicopter located Moses’ body on rocks along the shoreline in the South Point area.

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

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 16-Year-Old Hilo Girl Since April

Big Island police are searching for a 16-year-old girl reported as missing from Hilo since April 30.

Tearon T. Pacheco-Fernandez

Tearon T. Pacheco-Fernandez is described as Portuguese, 5-foot-1, about 110 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

Police ask that anyone with information on her whereabouts call 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.

Dear Damon – “…Attention to the Proposed Marine Reserve at Mauna Lani”

I’d appreciate it if you could give some attention to the proposed Marine Reserve at Mauna Lani (see details below). I have strong concerns about this, and would like to know if the Hawaiian community supports something like this or not. If you write about it on your blog, then people could talk about it.

I see plenty local kine folks spearfishing and I wouldn’t want to do anything that could restrict their rights. I never see tourists “taking” fish … only local kids, those who either work here or live nearby.  My first thought was this is just a way to keep people off the Mauna Lani property, and I would strongly oppose such a thing. I think the entire property needs to be open to the public, especially kama`aina, and I know Shops at Mauna Lani wants more public access and freedom also.

For the record, the “Fish Ponds” are already off limits. I think it’s disingenuous of the letter to refer to “fish ponds” because the map shows the reef, and the fishponds are mauka the reef. And, by the way, the fish ponds are jammed with fish.

On the other hand, Uncle Francis and others talk about how the reef used to have “10x more fish” back before the resort was built. But, as you know, fish populations are in decline all over the world, not just here. If Uncle Francis supports this, then I would too.

So, anyway, I’m looking for advice about what the pono thing is to do.

Resident at Mauna Lani

From: FML Manager
Subject: Marine reserve


An effort to get the reef offshore of the Mauna Lani declared a marine reserve (no-take) area is in a critical and near final stage.

Many people in the Mauna Lani community feel it will benefit property owners in the vicinity.

Here is a little information about this effort:

Those in favor of the effort are trying to get letters (the old-fashioned kind, on paper) supporting the reserve.  The DLNR is responsive to such input.
This effort has not been endorsed or opposed by the Fairways association, but we are sharing this information with you in case you wish to take a position on the matter.
For more information from those sponsoring the effort, contact:

Mauna Lani Community Reef Conservation Committee
68-1030 Mauna Lani Point Drive
Kamuela, HI 96743
They have provided a sample letter if you wish to support this cause.

Hawaii Fire Fighters Association Endorses Mayor Kenoi for Re-Election

The Hawai‘i Fire Fighters Association, representing State and County fire fighters and paramedics on the Island of Hawaii, and State and County fire fighters throughout the State is pleased to support Billy Kenoi for reelection as Mayor of the County of Hawai‘i.

Mayor Kenoi greets President Obama

During his four years as Chief Executive Officer in the toughest economic climate in the history of the County, Mayor Kenoi’s unwavering support for public safety has shown that he is the most qualified person to lead the County of Hawai‘i.

“Mayor Kenoi is committed to ensuring quality public safety services for Big Island residents and is dedicated to all of the residents and visitors on the Island of Hawai‘i,” said HFFA President Bobby Lee.

During his tenure, Mayor Kenoi has supported federal grant awards to the County’s fire service which resulted in more than $800,000 to upgrade fire equipment, including personal protective gear to help keep our fire fighters safe. The construction of the new Makalei station also was supported by Mayor Kenoi and with his help, the county received approximately $4 million in federal assistance. With these upgrades to the fire service, the public safety on Hawaii has been enhanced.

“HFFA has worked with Billy as Mayor and as Executive Assistant for Mayor Kim. He’s straight forward, honest and keeps his word,” said HFFA Hawai’i Division Chair Darren “Cuz” Shimaoka.

“When everyone else is running out, our fire fighters and paramedics are running in. They are on the front line carrying out the primary responsibility of county government — maintaining a safe and healthy community for all our families. I am honored by this endorsement,” Mayor Kenoi said.

The Hawai‘i Fire Fighters Association is pleased to endorse Billy Kenoi for reelection as Mayor of the County of Hawai‘i and we ask our members, families and friends to join us.

Vendors Invited to the 17th Annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agricultural Festival

Local food producers are invited to display and sample their product at the 17th annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agricultural Festival on Friday, Sept. 21 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

The state’s premiere ag showcase again offers a free trade show for Hawai‘i farmers, ranchers and food producers to hookup with Taste attendees. Called the Agriculture Festival, the expo coincides with the 6-8 p.m. Taste of the Hawaiian Range.

The Agriculture Festival provides a venue for food producers to present their products to participating chefs and attendees. The expo is also open for agricultural and sustainability-themed organizations to present informational displays.

Producers interested in participating may contact Amy Shimabukuro-Madden at 808-974-4107 or 410-933-0853 or The signup deadline is July 30. Those interested in having an educational display may reach Victoria Vrooman at 808-640-4492 or

Taste will headline more than 30 statewide chefs who will dazzle diners using various cuts of forage-fed meats and a cornucopia of island fruits, vegetables and other farm products. Also on tap is a 3 p.m. culinary activity, “Grass Fed Beef Cooking 101,” presented by James Babian, executive chef at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.” Follow Taste of the Hawaiian Range on Facebook or on Twitter, #TasteHI.

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The premiere ag-tourism event is a partnership between CTAHR, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Kulana Foods, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawaii Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii County Research and Development, Hawaii Community College Food Service & Culinary Program and KTA SuperStores.

The quality and growth of this event are rooted in small business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. For more information, visit

Transit of Venus – Hawaii Viewing Information

On the afternoon and evening of June 5, people in Hawai‘i will have the rare opportunity to view the planet Venus cross the disk of the sun. This is the last time this will happen in our lifetimes: The next transit of Venus will occur in 2117.

Hawai‘i and Alaska are the only places in the United States where this event can be viewed in its entirety. In the contiguous 48 states, the sun will set before the transit is over. In Honolulu, the transit will begin at 12:10 p.m. and end at 6:45 p.m. Because Hawai‘i is one of the best places to view this happening, it is attracting many visitors to our state.

FREE solar viewers are available at the IfA Mānoa reception desk through June 4 weekdays from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. There is a limit of two per person (at least 16 years old). These solar viewers are made available by our generous donors. Please support us at

Never look directly at the sun without proper eye protection. Sunglasses do not provide enough protection. You can find more safety information here.

Printable information sheet (3.9 MB) – Available in English and Japanese.


IfA will distribute free solar viewers that will allow individuals to look at the sun safely at each IfA sponsored event. While supplies last.

IfA Events, noon to sunset

  • Waikīkī Beach
  • Pacific Aviation Museum
  • Ko Olina
  • IfA Mānoa

Waikīkī Beach

The Waikiki Beach viewing site will be at the Sunset on the Beach location toward the Diamond Head end of Kalakaua Avenue, where there will be screens showing webcasts of the transit as viewed from Mauna Kea and Haleakala. There will also be other science and technology activities for children and adults.

Pacific Aviation Museum

The Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is located on Ford Island. While the museum usually charges an admission fee, viewing the transit of Venus and related activities will be free, and the museum will stay open until dusk. The museum will offer a special discounted admission price of $8 per person. In addition to viewing the transit, those who come to this venue will be able to see a show in the IfA’s StarLab planetarium and a robotics display, and there will be other demonstrations and activities for children and adults.

Since the museum is located on an active military base, you must have military or Department of Defense identification, or you must make a reservation by providing the vehicle year, make, model, and license plate number of your car, and a government-issued ID number for each adult in the vehicle in an email to or by calling the museum at (808) 441-1007. A third alternative is to buy a ticket to the museum at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and take the free shuttle bus to the museum.

Ko Olina

The public is also invited to view the transit at Ko Olina Resort near Lagoon 4. Assisting IfA personnel there will be Greg McCartney and Stars Above Hawaii as well as amateur astronomers. There will be robotics, swimming in the lagoon, and other activities, all free.

IfA Mānoa

Weather permitting, there will also be a small viewing station on the lawn of Institute for Astronomy, 2680 Woodlawn Drive in Mānoa.

Institute for Astronomy Frontiers of Astronomy Community Event: Talking Transit: The Sun-Venus-Earth Connection: A panel discussion about the upcoming transit of Venus. Dr. Paul Coleman will speak about Hawaii’s historical role in research using the 1874 transit of Venus, Dr. Shadia Habbal will speak about the Sun and its connection to Venus and Earth, Dr. Peter Mouginis-Mark will talk about Venus itself, and Dr. Roy Gal will speak about the transit on June 5. Wednesday, May 30, 7:30 p.m. in the Art Building Auditorium (room 132), UH Mānoa. Free. Campus parking $6.


The Bishop Museum will have a transit of Venus festival on that day with safe viewing opportunities. The Bishop Museum is normally closed on Tuesdays, but on June 5 the Museum and all its regular exhibit halls will be open from 9 am to 5 pm. Members of the Hawaiian Astronomical Society will be on hand from noon to 5 pm to show the transit in their telescopes.

On Hawai‘i Island, there will be telescope viewing at the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station. You will find information here. ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo is also planning some activities related to the transit, including having NASA webcast of the transit playing in their lobby and telescope viewing on their lawn (weather permitting) free of charge. Go to their website ( for the full schedule and the latest updates.

Historical Significance

Custom solar viewers. Artwork: Karen Teramura/IfA. Higher-resolution (106.7 KB)

In Hawai‘i, this event has a special historical significance, for it echoes a transit of Venus that occurred during the reign of King David Kalākaua. On December 8, 1874, a British expedition made the first scientific astronomical observations in Hawai‘i by observing the transit from a site near the corner of Punchbowl and Queen Streets in Honolulu, as well as from locations in Waimea on Kaua‘i and Kailua-Kona on Hawai‘i. They observed the transit to gather data that would be used to determine the precise distance between Earth and the sun, and thereby, to measure the size of the solar system. More information about the 1874 transit expedition in Hawai‘i can be found here.

More Information

There is also a live webcast from the summit of Mauna Kea:

The website is a good place for general information about this event.

NASA has pictures of the previous transit of Venus (2004). NASA also has a page for the 2012 transit.

The Hubble Space Telescope will use the Moon as a mirror to see the Venus transit because Hubble cannot look directly at the Sun. Hubble will be studying Venus’ atmosphere. More

See NASA Edge YouTube video about a webcast of the transit. The transit will be webcast live at

John Philip Sousa composed the “Transit of Venus March” in 1883. Lost for many years, it was rediscovered in 2003. Click here for the full story and to listen to it.

A workshop entitled “Transiting Planets in the House of the Sun: A Workshop on M Dwarf Stars and Their Planets” will be held at IfA Maui on June 3-6. Intended for advanced graduate students and junior postdocs studying extrasolar planets, it was intentionally scheduled to coincide with the the transit of Venus.

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo will be offering an undergraduate observational astronomy course to coincide with the transit of Venus. More information is available on the web or by contacting

While some websites may say that the transit will occur on June 6, be assured that in Hawai‘i it will occur on June 5. It depends on which side of the international dateline you are on.

County Council Candidate James Weatherford on the Geothermal Royalties

The Hawaiʻi County Council is considering legislation to redirect the county’s share of geothermal royalty funds back to their original purpose – addressing community impacts from geothermal development.  James Weatherford, candidate for Hawaiʻi County Council District 4, fully supports this initiative and says Bill 256-12 must be passed.

County Council Candidate James Weatherford

“This is not about being ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ geothermal. This is about responsible government being responsive to community concerns,” Weatherford said in a statement released by his campaign today.

“The incumbent from Puna has had a year-and-a-half to address the concerns of the community in the vicinity of the geothermal plant,” Weatherford added. “Instead of responding to and addressing his constituents’ concerns regarding impacts of geothermal in the community, he has been spending geothermal funds for other purposes. Instead of draining the geothermal royalty fund, I will bring Puna taxpayers’ money back to Puna by doing the work required through the budget process to get capital improvement projects for the district.”

Bill 256-12, introduced by Council Chair and Mayoral Candidate Dominic Yagong, will provide an opportunity for residents now living within one mile of the Puna Geothermal Venture facility to be relocated, and would prevent those properties from being reinhabited via resale or rental. This will start to create a buffer around PGV, where as now, some residents live right next to the geothermal power plant.

In addition to relocation, Bill 256-12 also promotes public health and safety by providing expenditures on health studies, air quality monitoring and real-time public notification of emissions.

Mandated emergency evacuation preparedness is also being considered by the council in a separate measure.

On May 16th, the legislation received a favorable recommendation from the Council’s Agriculture, Water, and Energy Sustainability Committee. Scheduled for June 6th is the first of two more votes needed before being sent to the Mayor for signing into law or veto.

Hawaii Youth Cigarette Smoking Rates Decline – New Forms of Tobacco Use and Marketing Practices Raise Concern

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Education (DOE) today released survey findings showing dramatic improvements in reducing tobacco use among Hawai‘i youth. Results released from the 2011 Hawai‘i School Health Survey’s Youth Tobacco Survey (HYTS) show current smoking (in the past 30 days) among high school students has decreased by 64 percent from 24.5 percent in 2000 to 8.7 percent in 2011, and frequent smoking (on 20 or more of the past 30 days) has reduced over 70 percent from 10.3 percent in 2000 to 2.9 percent in 2011. Among middle school students, current smoking declined from 5.3 percent in 2003 to 3.6 percent in 2011, and only 0.7 percent reported frequent smoking in 2011.

Hawai‘i teens smoke at lower rates when compared to teens nationally (at 17.2 percent for high school students and 5.2 percent of middle school students according to the National Youth Tobacco Survey 2009).

“These data demonstrate that a comprehensive tobacco prevention and control program has made a positive difference for Hawaii’s youth,” said Health Director Loretta Fuddy. “The Department of Health Hawai‘i Tobacco Prevention and Education Program has made significant progress since the program was created in reducing youth smoking rates.”

New Concerns

While the HYTS results are positive and cigarette use among youth in Hawai‘i continues to decrease, there are new concerns about the use of alternate tobacco products. These have recently gained popularity among youth and are being heavily marketed by the tobacco industry.

For the first time, this year’s survey shows the use of such products by youth in Hawai‘i, including e-cigarettes, hookah, orbs, sticks, strips and snus. Data shows that 12.8 percent of high school students have tried hookah and 5.1 percent have tried e-cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco rates for Hawai‘i youth have remained about the same over the years, and the DOH continues to closely monitor these rates.

The HYTS also reports for the first time on the presence of tobacco advertising and promotion in Hawai‘i: 48.9 percent of high school and 47.1 percent of middle school students recounted seeing signs or advertising for tobacco in Hawai‘i stores. Research has shown that tobacco marketing is a key factor in young people starting tobacco use, and is more influential than peer pressure or parental smoking. Policy changes to reduce the tobacco industry influence in Hawai‘i storefronts could further decrease youth smoking rates.

According to U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, M.D., “Strong laws, tobacco excise taxes and fully funded tobacco prevention programs are what are proven to work to prevent youth smoking.”

The Youth Tobacco Survey is part of the Hawai‘i School Health Survey and is administered jointly by the DOH and DOE to public school students in grades 6-12 every two years. The full survey report is available online from the DOH website,, and more detailed data reports by student, gender, grade and race/ethnicity are available at the Hawai‘i Health Data Warehouse website,

3.5 Magnitude Earthquake on the Big Island Early Today

Magnitude 3.5
Location 18.971°N, 155.498°W
Depth 37 km (23.0 miles)
  • 14 km (9 miles) SE (138°) from Naalehu, HI
  • 26 km (16 miles) S (184°) from Pahala, HI
  • 32 km (20 miles) ESE (118°) from Hawaiian Ocean View, HI
  • 89 km (56 miles) SW (224°) from Hawaiian Beaches, HI
  • 92 km (57 miles) SSW (208°) from Hilo, HI
  • 356 km (221 miles) SE (137°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.6 km (0.4 miles); depth +/- 0.9 km (0.6 miles)
Parameters Nph= 76, Dmin=14 km, Rmss=0.1 sec, Gp=227°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=1
Event ID hv60354776