Update on the Hawaii County Elections


104,323 Hawaii County residents are registered to vote in the 2012 General Election. This is the official voter registration count for the 2012 General Election and is not subject to change for this election.


On October 15th 22,200 absentee mail ballots were sent to Hawaii County voters.  As of October 29th, Hawaii County has received 14,584 voted absentee mail ballots.  New requests are processed and absentee mail ballots are sent to Hawaii County voters on a daily basis.

Hawaii County voters are advised that the deadline to submit an application for an absentee mail ballot is October 30, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. Applications for an absentee mail ballot that are received after this date will not be processed for the 2012 General Election.


On October 23rd, Hawaii County opened absentee/early walk-in voting precincts in Hilo , Waimea and in Kona.  Absentee/early walk-in voting is open to all registered voters at any early walk-in voting precinct on the island, regardless of district or residency assignment.  Absentee/early walk-in voting will continue until November 3, 2012.

As of October 29th, 4,688 Hawaii County voters have voted absentee/early walk-in voting in Hawaii County .

According to Lehua Iopa, Hawaii County Acting Elections Program Administrator, “Let’s vote Hawaii County !  Hawaii County voters may walk-in and vote early before the November 6th, 2012 General Election in Hawaii County .  Early walk-in voting is happening every day until Saturday, November 3, 2012.  Each location will be open every day from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.  All Hawaii County registered voters can walk-in and vote in any location in Hilo , Kona and Waimea, regardless of district or residency assignment. For more information regarding early walk-in voting, please contact the Hawaii County Elections Division (808) 961-8277.”

For more information please contact Lehua Iopa, Acting Elections Program Administrator, Hawaii County Elections Division (808) 961-8277 or by electronic mail to eiopa@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Makalei Fire Station in North Kona Blessed

For the people of Kona, it means faster emergency responses and lower insurance premiums. For future firefighters, it’s a modern classroom to learn the art of fire science. And for the fire fighters who keep our community safe, it’s home.

“Welcome to your home,” Hawai‘i County Fire Chief Darren Rosario told about 80 people in attendance as the County of Hawai‘i opened the doors to its newest and largest facility, the $7 million Makalei Fire Station.

Located on Māmalahoa Highway less than a mile north of its intersection with Ka‘iminani Drive, the 11,000 square foot Makalei station sits on more than two acres just south of the 32-mile marker on the mauka side of the highway.

The fire station, designed by KYA Design Group, includes three apparatus bays, hose tower, pump house, office, kitchen and training room, dormitory, exercise/work rooms, a dedicated classroom, laundry room, fuel tank and parking areas for staff and guests.  Parked outside one of the bays was a bright yellow pumper with “North Kona” emblazoned on the doors. The station will also feature a hazardous materials unit and a ladder truck.

About $4 million of the funding for the project came from a federal grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through its Fire Station Construction Grant Program. Ground was broken in March 2011.

“This is a special day here in Kalaoa, in North Kona. This 11,000 square foot home will house those who run in when a lot of us are running out. Those who protect our community, protect our parents, our kūpuna, protect our children,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi.

Joining Mayor Kenoi and Chief Rosario in speaking at today’s blessing were former Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira, Kahu Kaniala Akaka, who performed the blessing, and Hannah Kihalani Springer, who gave a history of the area and the Makalei name.

The station will positively impact the Kalaoa area of North Kona with quicker emergency response times and lower homeowner insurance rates. Before Makalei Fire Station was built, the next closest unit was seven miles to the south at the intersection of Palani Road and Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway. Response time from the Kailua Kona Station to Makalei is about 15 minutes.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the station is the hose tower, which doubles as a training facility for building fires and cliff rescues. Materials used to manufacture modern hoses make hose towers optional features on fire stations, but the one at Makalei has a catwalk on the inside that will be used to train a firefighter how to pick up a victim and get him out of a building. The tower will also be used to train recruits how to rappel down the side of a building or a cliff during an emergency. Also included in the facility is a dedicated classroom.

Survey Shows Support for Aina Koa Pono

Media Release:

Aina Koa Pono (AKP) received support from Hawaii Island residents in a recent survey, but a larger number revealed that many are still unaware of the company and its Kau project.

The survey results were released today to coincide with the Hawaii Public Utilities’s Commission hearings on Hawaii Electric Light Company’s request for approval of the biofuels contract.

Aina Koa Pono is proposing a biorefinery in Kau which would produce 24 million gallons of biofuel annually—16 million gallons will be used at HELCO’s Keahole power plant and eight million gallons will be distributed by Mansfield Oil for transportation, with preference to Hawaii. When completed, AKP can supply 18 percent of the island’s power needs from renewable resources.

“Hawaii Island residents were surveyed because we wanted to get a sense of the level of acceptance and support for the Kau project,” said Chris Eldridge, partner of AKP. “What we learned was that while there’s support, we need to do more education and outreach.”

AKP engaged SMS Research and Marketing of Honolulu to conduct the survey. The survey, taken in September and October, found that 85 percent support “developing more renewable energy sources for the Island of Hawai‘i.”

The Kau project would provide “base load” electricity, which is essentially steady electricity, as opposed to other alternatives such as wind or solar, which are intermittent and depend on weather conditions.

Aina Koa Pono’s operation would initially convert invasive plant species, coconut husks and macadamia nut hulls to biofuel using Microwave Catalytic Deploymerization (Micro Dee). Microwave technology has been successfully and safely used in the herbal extraction and pharmaceutical industries for decades.

SMS Research has served organizations in Hawaii for more than 50 years.

The research also indicated that a large minority Hawaii Island residents do not know enough about Aina Koa Pono or its project.

SMS Research found that only 10 percent of those interviewed knew about the Aina Koa Pono project when asked on an unaided basis. Of the residents who knew of the project, 65 percent support the project compared to 16 percent who do not.

A description of the project was provided to all respondents and when asked whether they favor or oppose the project, 56 percent stated they were in favor of the project as compared to 11 percent opposed— a 5-to-1 ratio. 33 percent stated they did not know enough about the project.

“We have been meeting with folks in Kau and will be increasing our outreach to the community so they are aware of our project,” Eldridge said.

Excluding those who do not know enough, the support for Aina Koa Pono development is strong in the areas of safety, keeping money in the State, additional jobs, revitalization of Hawaii’s agricultural industry, reduction of electric bills for Island residents, and more.

Again, excluding those who do not know enough, some of the concerns with the project include the perception that Aina Koa Pono will be run by outsiders, may have some impact on traffic, biofuel will cost more to produce than imported oil, and the plant will be too expensive to build.

“Serious misinformation is circulating throughout the community. Aina Koa Pono is locally owned and the $450 million project is privately funded,” Eldridge said. “Eight to 12 trucks a week will deliver biofuel to Keahole. The project poses no financial risk to ratepayers, who pay nothing until the biofuel is produced and accepted by HELCO.”

The Aina Koa Pono project would increase electricity bills for HECO and HELCO customers by 84 cents to $1 a month for typical 500 to 600 kWh usage.

At the conclusion of the survey, participants were asked again the level of support or opposition to the development of the biofuel plant at Kau, a majority of 63 percent support versus 12 percent who oppose with 25 percent having no opinion.

The final report will be released by SMS Research shortly.

(Research Methodology: 303 interviews conducted between September 20 to October 3, 2012, margin of error is +/– 5.6 percentage points.)

Saturday’s Arts Market to Host Sign-Up Drive for Hawai’i Island Network of Artists

Waimea Artists’ Guild, working with the Hawai‘i Island Network of Artists (HINA), a project of Volcano Art Center, invites all Island artists to register with HINA’s new data base.  Free registration and information will be available at the Waimea Artists’ Guild Holiday Arts Market on Saturday, November 3, at Kanu o ka ‘Āina New Century Public Charter School, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  For info call 808-887-2289.

Ledward Kaapana

Slack-key master Ledward Ka‘apana & Friends appear live in concert from 4-6 p.m. on Saturday, November 3 at Kanu o ka ‘Āina School in Waimea. The family-friendly concert includes chili and rice dinner, salad bar, and beverages. Tickets $15 adult, $9 youth 4-12, keiki 3 and under free, available at Kanu or Mama’s House Thrift Shop, or call 887-2289. This drug and alcohol free event is a fundraiser to support the partnership between WAG and KALO’s ‘Ohana in the Arts Program.

Big Island Police Searching for Man Wanted on Eight Criminal Charges

Big Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating a 27-year-old man wanted on three warrants.

Albert Aukai Manners

Albert Aukai Manners is wanted on a $15,000 contempt of court warrant for failing to appear in court for a hearing on eight criminal charges, including driving under the influence and assaulting a police officer. He is also wanted on no-bail warrants for violating terms of release on bail in an assault case and a domestic abuse case.

He is described as 5-foot-8, 155 pounds with brown eyes and short black hair. He has numerous tattoos on his neck and chest. His address is unknown.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts contact Lieutenant Gregory Esteban at 961-2252 or gesteban@co.hawaii.hi.us. Citizens may also 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 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.

John Dumas at Volcano Art Center

John Dumas, the internationally renowned Kauai artist, musician, inspirational teacher, shamanic astrologer and pioneer in sound healing, will be offering his unique “Dreamtime Concert” experience at Volcano Art Center on Saturday, November 10, 2012.

Join John Dumas for a musical shamanic journey November 10th at Volcano Art Center

Described as mystical and magical, John’s rare enthusiasm enthralls and elevates the Soul. He travels the world bringing joyful shamanic journeys into the lives of his concert-goers through the use of his handcrafted instruments and has performed at sacred sites such as the Egyptian pyramids and Mayan temples.

Through his use of didgeridoo, flutes, rattles, drum and chanting, John aims to stir the Soul into a divine bliss. He shares his rare gift to combine musical precision with an intuitive response to the heart’s calling of his audience.

“Dreamtime Concert” with John Dumas will be held Saturday, November 10 starting at 7:00pm at VAC’s Niaulani Campus located at 19-4074 Old Volcano Road in Volcano Village. Doors open at 6:30pm. Cost is $12 or $10 for VAC members.

Tickets may be purchased in person or over the phone at (808) 967-8222. For more information, visit  www.volcanoartcenter.org or www.johndumas.com.

Volcano Art Center (VAC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1974 to develop, promote and perpetuate the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaii’s people through the arts and education.

Pahoa Facilities Get Fenced In

The Pahoa Senior Center which was the former fire station here in Pahoa, had been having a problem with homeless people sleeping at the facilities during the evenings and the Pahoa Neighborhood Facility (Pahoa Community Center) has long been a problem for the parks workers.

Last week fencing went up around the facilities:

The new gate to the Pahoa Senior Center

A lot of fencing was used in this project as it looked like they tried to encircle the entire park.

This fencing will really assist in keeping the troubled elements out of the community center at night.

County Parks Maintenance worker Alfred Pestrello mentioned how the folks that work at the park, take great pride in the park and that this will really make there job easier.

County worker Alfred Pestrello puts on some finishing touches to the fencing as a security guard looks over the facilities.

Hawaii County Police Increasing DUI Checkpoints This Week in Conjunction With Halloween

Children of all ages look forward to Halloween but police want to keep them safe to enjoy the fun. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly four times as many children ages 5-14, are killed while walking on Halloween evening than other times of the year.

Hawaiʻi County police will increase DUI checkpoints and roving patrols this week in conjunction with Halloween. The effort is part of a national and statewide campaign called “Drive sober or get pulled over.”

Sergeant Robert P. Pauole, head of the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s Traffic Services Section, pointed out that drugs, alcohol or both have been factors in at least 63 percent of the 35 traffic fatalities we’ve experienced so far this year. He urges all motorists to be extra cautious in the next few days, when a large number of pedestrians may be out for Halloween festivities.

“Be especially careful in residential areas by slowing down and looking for children on roadways, medians and curbs,” Pauole said. “If you plan to drink, please don’t drive. Make arrangements to ride with a designated, sober and licensed driver before you start drinking. If you can’t find one, don’t take a chance—take a taxi.”

Police offer the following additional tips for Halloween safety:


-Drive below the posted speed limit during trick-or-treating hours.
-Watch for keiki darting out from between parked cars.
-Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.


-Accompany your keiki when they go trick-or-treating or make sure they are supervised by a responsible adult.
-Have your keiki trick-or-treat in a safe location (consider a local mall or community event).
-Make sure keiki are supervised as they cross the street.
-Have keiki get out of cars on the curb side, not on the traffic side.
-Carry flashlights and use reflective tape or stickers on bags and costumes for keiki to see and be seen.
-Avoid masks or costumes that limit a keiki’s vision or movement.
-Check all treats before letting your keiki eat them.

The Police Department wishes everyone a fun and safe Halloween.

Hawai’i Executive to Chair National Leadership Network for Nonprofits

Independent Sector, a leadership network for nonprofit organizations, foundations and corporate giving programs, recently appointed Hawai’i-native Kelvin Taketa, president and CEO of Hawai’i Community Foundation, as its board chair. As an organization striving to advance the common good in America, Independent Sector works towards promoting public policies and serves as an advocate for the philanthropic community.

Kelvin Taketa, Hawai’i Community Foundation president and CEO.

“Though we are thousands of miles from the mainland, it is important to stay connected with the public policies and changes occurring in our sector across the nation,” said Taketa. “Ultimately, these are the changes that will also affect us here in Hawai’i. It’s essential that we keep an open dialogue by sharing the challenges and successes we’ve experienced locally, while learning about the trends and issues nationally. In this way, I believe we can make an even greater impact in our community.”

Independent Sector is located in Washington D.C. and works nationally to create opportunities through its partnerships with approximately 600 organizations to lead, strengthen, and mobilize the nonprofit and philanthropic community. Together the coalition seeks to foster a just and inclusive society where citizens and institutions can work together to develop healthy and vibrant communities. Since the organization was founded in 1980, Independent Sector has sponsored revolutionary research, supported public policies within the independent sector, and created invaluable resources for organizations to achieve these goals.

“We are honored to have Kelvin as our new chairman and know that he will provide invaluable counsel and leadership to the board and the Independent Sector network,” said Diana Aviv, president of Independent Sector. “As an organization determined to make an impact in as many communities across the nation as possible, we believe having the unique perspectives of highly-respected leaders, such as Kelvin, is absolutely vital to our growth and success.”

Taketa brings more than 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector and joined Independent Sector’s Board in 2007 as an opportunity to be a part of the network and advocate for nonprofit organizations, foundations, and corporate giving programs nationwide. Hawai’i Community Foundation is also a member of Independent Sector, joining in 2006. Since then, the Foundation has gained a better understanding of the current trends and issues in the nonprofit sector nationally, which provides valuable context for Hawai’i Community Foundation, as well as for the local community.

Hawai’i Community Foundation is a public, statewide, charitable services, and grant-making organization supported by donor contributions for the benefit of Hawai’i’s people. For more information about the Foundation, please visit www.HawaiiCommunityFoundation.org .

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3.0 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area of the Big Island Early This Morning

Magnitude 3.0
Location 19.425°N, 155.276°W
Depth 1.7 km (1.1 miles)
  • 5 km (3 miles) WSW (237°) from Volcano, HI
  • 16 km (10 miles) WSW (251°) from Fern Forest, HI
  • 19 km (12 miles) SW (228°) from Mountain View, HI
  • 37 km (23 miles) SSW (213°) from Hilo, HI
  • 338 km (210 miles) SE (128°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.1 km (0.1 miles)
Parameters Nph= 34, Dmin=0 km, Rmss=0.1 sec, Gp= 50°,
M-type=duration magnitude (Md), Version=2
Event ID hv60422886