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Big Island Video News for Friday, July 20th, 2012

Big Island Video News for Friday, July 20, 2012:


NAVY Releases Information on Sailor That Fell Off the USS Essex During RIMPAC Training

On Wednesday I got to go out to the Military Transport Ship the USS Essex during some of the 2012 RIMPAC exercises and I mentioned that a sailor had fallen off the ship and was injured.

A flare marks where the sailor fell in

Well I’ve been watching the news reports and statements from the US Navy and it’s been like they have been completely mum on the incident.

Today I sent the following email off to the folks at RIMPAC:

On Wednesday, July 18th, I was invited aboard the USS Essex while it was based off of the Big Island of Hawaii.  I happened to witness part of the rescue and was literally about 200 feet away from where the Sailor fell over board, although I myself didn’t see him fall over… I immediately saw the sailors react to the situation and I’m glad they eventually were able to find the guy out in the ocean.

When he was brought back to the ship… he was tied down to a gurney and obviously was injured.  I have written briefly about the incident on my website here:


I was wondering what the official statement from the NAVY is on this incident and if possible… the name and rank of the sailor that did fall overboard and what his current medical condition is.

Damon Tucker

I got the following response from the NAVY today:

On July 18 a US service member was successfully rescued within minutes after falling overboard from USS ESSEX. Crew witnessed the service member fall overboard and responded immediately according to established procedures. The servicemember was recovered aboard a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) by a rescue swimmer, returned to ESSEX and was treated for a minor injury by ship’s medical personnel.

Due to privacy considerations, we are not disclosing identifying information of the service member.

-CDR Charlie Brown, US Navy
RIMPAC spokesperson

Hawaii Island Mango Festival This Weekend and Next Weekend

The fourth annual Hawaii Island Mango Festival offers three days of juicy jive over two upcoming weekends.

First up is the Mango Tango Dance and Desserts FUNdraiser July 21 in Kealakekua at the New Thought Center in Pualani Terrace on Hwy. 11. Enjoy a tango dancing show, dessert bar, hand-crafted ales from Kona Brewing Company, silent auction and door prizes from 6-9 p.m. Get in on the salsa dance lessons from 6-6:30 p.m., followed by music by the Mango Tango band and a live Argentine tango performance. Tickets are $10 and extra donations are tax deductible. For tickets, phone 808-887-1292 or 808-756-4700 or get them online at www.newthoughtcenterofhawaii.com.

The free Mango Festival is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 28-29 at the Keauhou Beach Resort. The family event offers mango-themed displays, arts and crafts, mangolicious food and drinks, recipe contest, culinary demonstration, agriculture and garden-themed presentations and belly dancing workshops. The entertainment lineup offers a wide variety of performing arts: Latin funk band Leche de Tigre Trio, reggae artist Sahra Indio, dancer Willow Change, Anela Strings, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko-Kohala performing Okinawan Eisa Taiko and local hula halau. Kumu Keala Ching and Na Wai Iwi Ola Hula Halau open the festival with a traditional blessing and hula at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Both the Mango Tango FUNdraiser and the free community festival are presented by the non-profit Sanctuary of Mana Ke‘a Gardens. The community is invited to collaborate, support and participate. Exhibitor booths for July 28-29 are available for businesses and non-profit organizations. Volunteers are encouraged to help with festival day activities, speaker support and workshops. Find vendor and volunteer signup forms at mangofestival.org.

Councilman Pilago Attends National Association of Counties 2012 Annual Conference and Exposition

Hawai’i County Councilmember K. Angel Pilago joined 1,800 fellow county officials from across the country July 13‐17 to adopt policies and share ideas to help lead the nation toward economic recovery during the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) 2012 Annual Conference and Exposition in Allegheny County/Pittsburgh.

NACo’s Annual Conference is the most important gathering of county officials of the year. Decisions made each summer during the conference allow counties to speak with a strong, clear and unified voice to the Administration, Congress and the American people on issues ranging from transportation infrastructure, access to health care, and court and jail systems.

Pilago said the conference was productive and informative. “We are not alone in the challenges we are facing here at home to deliver services and programs during these tough economic times,” Councilmember Pilago said. “Only by talking with our fellow county officials sharing best practices and practical solutions will we be able to kick‐start our economy.

NACo’s educational workshops are a terrific vehicle for that interaction and engagement. “The bottom line is that while recovery begins here at the county level, the federal government must be on the same page as us,” Pilago said. “That’s why our involvement in NACo is so important. It’s our voice in Washington.”

NACo President Lenny Eliason, Commissioner, Athens County, Ohio, said the nation’s counties are deeply concerned about funding for a variety of federal programs, which directly affect counties and communities and new federal regulations under consideration. “The Administration and Congress need to be reminded almost daily how the decisions they make affect us at the county level and the services we provide directly to the American people,” Eliason said. “We work tirelessly all year to preserve local governing authority and caution Washington when they try to shift federal costs onto states and local governments.”

Counties in most states are responsible for providing essential services to communities, including maintaining roads and bridges, operating airports and other transit systems, delivering critical health care services, providing law enforcement, courtroom and jail services, funding schools, and numerous human services for seniors, children and families. Counties are the first line of defense for natural disaster emergencies and pandemic preparedness and response.

During the Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, county officials through NACo’s 11 policy steering committees set the county agenda and legislative priorities for 2012‐13 so counties can speak with one voice before the Administration and Congress. Issues addressed included budget and revenue; rural and urban development, green government; transportation; public safety; emergency preparedness and response; housing and more.

Policy resolutions adopted at the conference will be posted soon at www.naco.org. Conference participants also attended a variety of educational workshop sessions to gain greater understanding of issues affecting county government and how many counties are finding innovative, cost‐effective way to provide services and programs.

During Tuesday’s Election of Officers and Business meeting, NACo membership elected and installed its 2012‐13 officers: President: Chris Rodgers, Commissioner, Douglas County, Neb.; First Vice President: Linda Langston, Supervisor, Linn County, Iowa; Second Vice President: G. Riki Hokama, Council Member, Maui County, Hawaii; and Immediate Past President Lenny Eliason, Commissioner, Athens County, Ohio. On Monday, President Eliason announced that Matthew D. Chase has been named the association’s new Executive Director. He will replace the retiring Larry E. Naake this fall.

Chase joins NACo from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO), which represents the nation’s local government‐based regional planning and development organizations. He has served as NADO’s Executive Director since 2003 and was previously the Director of Legislative Affairs and Deputy Executive Director. In addition, conference attendees heard from experts and prominent national speakers throughout the five‐day conference including Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; political journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann; retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; and author Jay Wilkinson. See below or visit

www.naco.org jphilipps@naco.org for summary of remarks. For more information about the 2012 NACo Annual Conference, contact Jim Philipps at or 202.942.4220.

Big Island Police Arrest 21-Year-Old Female on Burglary From Last Year

A 21-year-old Hilo woman is in police custody after being charged with two crimes for a burglary reported last year.

Jewelry valued at more than $2,000 was taken from the Alae Street home of a 49-year-old Hilo man on December 5.

Rose Peace

Police investigation led to the identity of the suspect, Rose Peace, who was arrested Friday (July 20) and charged with first-degree burglary and second-degree theft.

She is being held at the Hilo police cellblock in lieu of $7,000 bail pending her initial court appearance scheduled for Monday (July 23).

Police ask that anyone with information on recent burglary activity contact either Detective John Rodrigues Jr. by phone at 961-2384 or by email at jrodrigues@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective Royce Serrao by phone at 961-8810 or by email at rpserrao@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.

Senator Kahele Makes “Rookie” Mistake – “Raffle Tickets” Will Now be FREE

Senator Gilbert Kahele was nominated by Governor Abercrombie to fill a vacant Senate seat so he has never officially ran for office.

The other day I noticed that he was selling raffle tickets to his “Big Event” and one of the prizes would be an iPad amongst other things.

I didn’t know if they were legal here in Hawaii and so I asked Senator Kahele if there was a way to purchase the tickets online somehow, and if the winners had to be present to win.

I then shared this on my Facebook site… Even though I wanted to win the iPad.  Someone commented that “raffles” were illegal in Hawaii.

Senator Kahele did some research and yep… it turns out he made a “Rookie Mistake” as he stated that now the tickets will be given away for free.

Here is the link that Senator Kahele found by himself and has now corrected the situation before his Big Event has even happened: Are raffles legal in Hawaii and this is what it says about them.

Are raffles legal in Hawaii?

No. Raffles are not legal if you must purchase tickets to participate – CONSIDERATION. It is random CHANCE which numbers are called. If your number is called, you receive something of value or REWARD.

Games where tickets are given out to everyone without them having to pay and the organizer receives no type of CONSIDERATION are legal, e.g., games promoted by businesses where you can win something and no purchase is necessary.

Kana’iolowalu Petition Signed in Washington

United States Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K Inouye become the first two people to sign a petition affirming the inherent sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian people and expressing support for a restoration of Native Hawaiian self-governance.

Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K Inouye

It’s part of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission’s year long effort, Kana’iolowalu, to bring Hawaiians and Non-Hawaiians together in support of nation building, and to create a base roll of Native Hawaiians to participate in the formation of a sovereign government. Akaka and Inouye were joined by Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Peter Apo and State Senator Brickwood Galuteria, who became the third and fourth people to sign, respectively. This video was taken in Senator Akaka’s Washington, D.C. office.


Kana’iolowalu runs through July 19, 2013. Registration and signing of the petition can be done on paper or electronically. For more information please visit http://www.kanaiolowalu.org

“The Five Chinese Brothers” to Tour State

For the first time in many years, Honolulu Theatre for Youth will tour a theatre performance statewide to public audiences.

HTY’s 2012-13 season opener, the world premiere of Five Chinese Brothers, will be presented as follows:

Oahu – Tenney Theatre at The Cathedral of St. Andrew; opening night Friday, August 24 at 7:30 p.m.; then Saturdays, August 25 – Sept. 29, 4:30 p.m.
Hilo – UH Hilo Performing Arts Center, Friday, October 12, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.
Maui – Iao Theatre, Friday, October 26, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.
Kauai – Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center, Friday, November 9, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.

Five Chinese Brothers could be called the first super-hero story, where people (not gods or mythical creatures) had extraordinary abilities. Wildly interactive, this romp through Ming Dynasty China draws on traditional Chinese theatrical techniques in a new take on the classic children’s story in which five identical brothers each possess a special talent. One can swallow the sea; one has an iron neck; one can stretch his legs; one can survive fire; and the last can hold his breath forever. They learn to appreciate what makes them different while teaching tolerance and an understanding of the gifts that make us all unique.

The play is authored by Alvin Chan, who also acts in the performance along with Maile Holck, Junior Tesoro and Kala‘i Stern. Director is Eric Johnson; set, lights and props designer is H. Bart McGeehon; costume designer is Alvin Chan; fight choreographer is Nick Logue.

Single tickets to the Oahu performances are $20 for adults, $10 for youth and $15 for seniors; tickets to neighbor island performances are $10 each, general admission only. Tickets may be ordered online at www.htyweb.org or by calling HTY at 839-9885. Walk-ups are welcome on a space available basis.

Honolulu Theatre for Youth is Hawaii’s non-profit professional theatre company providing theatre and drama education programs that make a difference in the lives of Hawaii’s young people and families. Founded in 1955, HTY is recognized the world over as one of America’s most honored theatres.

Big Island Police Arrest Kona Man in Connection with Car Theft

Big Island police have arrested and charged a Kona man in connection with the theft of a car in May.

The 1995 Honda Accord was stolen from a home in the Seaview subdivision in Kailua-Kona sometime between 6 p.m. May 14 and 6:30 a.m. May 15.

Police recovered the Honda on May 15, after a South Kohala patrol officer made a traffic stop on the driver in Waimea. The driver fled the area on foot and was able to evade officers.

Jesse Travis Ralston

Weeks of investigation led to the identity of a suspect, 22-year-old Jesse Travis Ralston of Kailua-Kona. He was located and arrested at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday (July 17) in Kailua-Kona and held in the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

At 10:15 a.m. Thursday (July 19), detectives charged Ralston with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle. He was released Thursday night after posting $2,000 bail.

Big Island Police Initiate Coroner’s Inquest in Connection with Body Found at Park

Big Island police have initiated a coroner’s inquest case in connection with a body found at a public park.

Higashihara Park

At 5:48 p.m. Thursday (July 19), Kona patrol officers responded to a report of a body found at Higashihara Park in Keauhou Mauka. Fire Department personnel at the scene directed the officers to a partially decomposed body, which was lying in an area of heavy brush and vegetation.

Police have not determined the identity, age or sex of the decedent.

Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section are continuing the investigation. An autopsy is pending to determine the exact cause of death and to help identify the remains.