10th Predator Outed at Honolulu School, Broke Victim’s Hand for Reporting

Media Release:

NEWS EVENT: Maui man files new sex abuse & cover-up suit.   It’s the 1st time cleric/teacher has been accused and he’s the 10th alleged pedophile at Honolulu school.  When victim reported the crimes, cleric was sent away… then, Catholic officials brought him back, he retaliated & broke the victim’s hand

Holding signs with photos of proven and admitted child-molesting Hawaii clerics, abuse victims and their supporters will disclose a new child sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit against the Honolulu Catholic diocese and a never-before-exposed predator who still lives in Honolulu.

Damien Memorial

The suit charges that a Catholic brother:

— repeatedly sexually abused a Damien Memorial School student,

— was sent away when victim reported to school officials and the bishop,

— was brought back to the school, where he attacked victim in retaliation.

They will also:

— Discuss the ten admitted and/or arrested clerics who worked at Damien

— Urge victims and witnesses to report to abuse to law enforcement, not church officials, and

— Show how a landmark new Hawaii law is helping to warn parents about predators.

Outside of Damien Memorial School, 1401 Houghtailing Street (at School Street) in Honolulu

Wednesday, December 5 at 11:30 am

Two-to-three victims of child sex abuse and their supporters who are members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), including a California woman who is the group’s Western Regional Director.

This week, a Maui man filed a new child sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit against the Honolulu Catholic Diocese, Damien Memorial High School and Brother J.P. Medvit, an Irish Christian Brother and former teacher at the school. Medvit is the 10th alleged child molesting cleric who worked at Damien.

According to the suit, Medvit molested the victim in the late 1980s, when the boy was a young student. The lawsuit charges that the victim personally reported the abuse to then-principal Br. Douglas Zlatis and then-Bishop Joseph Ferrario (both of whom  have also been accused of abuse).

But school and church officials never informed the police. Soon after, Medvit was sent away from the school.

Less than a year later, Medvit was brought back to Damien where he retaliated against the victim by breaking his hand. Despite this, Catholic officials let Medvit stay at the school as a teacher and spiritual counselor for 12 more years. Medvit died in August of this year.

Although school officials have known about Medvit and his crimes for decades, Damien and church officials have done little or nothing to reach out to his potential victims.

The victim in this case was able to come forward and expose Medvit because of a landmark new state law that allows all Hawaii victims of child sexual abuse to come forward and seek justice in the courts, no matter when the abuse occurred. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/07/opinion/more-time-for-justice.html?_r=0.  Separate from the lawsuit, the Irish Christian Brothers, a New York-based Catholic religious order that runs Damien, declared bankruptcy in 2011 to avoid costly and public child sex abuse civil trials. http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/16904070/group-says-child-predators-worked-at-catholic-school. Medvit was also named as a predator in a proof of claim in the bankruptcy, which was filed before Medvit’s death.

The nine other clerics who have been exposed so far as proven or alleged predators at Damien include Fr. Gerald Funcheon, Br. Robert Brouillette, Br. Thomas Ford, Br. Karl Walczak, former Bishop Joseph Ferrario, Fr. George DeCosta, Br. Lawrence Robert Christensen, Fr. Larry Spellen and Zlatis. All of them have either been arrested, sued or named in a legal claim in the Irish Christian Brothers’ bankruptcy.

SNAP is urging all victims at Damien and other schools, churches, institutions, homes or elsewhere in Hawaii to come forward and get help while they have civil rights under the state’s new “window” legislation. The two-year law, sponsored by Senator Maile Shimabukuro, expires in 2014.

The victims are represented by attorneys Mike Reck (714) 742-6593 mreck@andersonadvocates.com and Mark Gallagher (808) 779-5012 mgallagher@hawaiiantel.net. Copies of the lawsuit and details about each of the ten exposed predators will be available at the event.

Joelle Casteix (IN HONOLULU), SNAP Western Regional Director, (949) 322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com
Barb Dorris of St. Louis, MO, SNAP Outreach Director, (314) 503-0003, snapdorris@gmail.com

Car Fly’s Off Highway 130

Governor Abercrombie Conference on $866.9 Million Sale of State of Hawaii General Obligation Bonds

12/4/12 news conference on $866.9 million sale of State of Hawaii G.O. Bonds

12/4/12 news conference on $866.9 million sale of State of Hawaii G.O. Bonds

Today’s news conference on the $866.9 million sale of State General Obligation Bonds as originally webcast/live streamed.


Kuana Torres Kahele to Play in Historic Kailua Village’s “Kokua Kailua”

Historic Kailua Village’s Kokua Kailua on Sunday, December 16 from 1pm until 6pm will include Kailua Village Business Improvement District’s gift to the community, a special concert by Na Hoku Hanohano 2012 Male Vocalist of the Year Kuana Torres Kahele.  Joining Torres Kahele will be kumu hula Etua Lopes and his Halau Hula Na Pua Ui O Hawaii.

Kuana Torres Kahele holds up just one of his many Na Hoku Hanohano awards.

Kuana Torres Kahele holds up just one of his many Na Hoku Hanohano awards.

The Hilo-born Torres Kahele formed multi-award winning Na Palapalai in 1995 with Kehau Tamure and they have performed to wide acclaim.

Fans know him for his incredible vocal range, while fellow musicians seek him out for his arranging, songwriting and producing abilities. He has garnered thirteen Na Hoku awards in just two years.

His 2011 solo CD, Kaunaloa, was a project with songs that, according to Torres Kahele, took a lifetime to create. The CD went on to win seven Na Hoku Hanohano awards in 2012 tying Kealii Reichel for the most ever from any Hawaiian artist.

This holiday season, Torres Kahele’s Hilo for the Holidays takes listeners on a musical ride to his hometown with a delightful collection of classic and new songs in both Hawaiian and English which he will perform at Kokua Kailua beginning at 5:00pm on December 16 at Emma’s Square.

Etua Lopes has been teaching hula for more than 25 years.  Most of those years he has taught his Halau Hula Na Pua Ui O Hawaii at Hulihee Palace. He is the only kumu hula that has the honor and privilege of teaching on the royal grounds.

Shop, dine and enjoy Historic Kailua Village’s Kailua Kalikimaka and Kokua Kailua! The next Kokua Kailua is scheduled for Sunday, January 13.

Kokua Kailua Village Stroll is sponsored by the Kailua Village Business Improvement District, Destination Kona Coast, Kailua Village Merchants Association, Hulihee Palace, West Hawaii Today and Pacific Radio Group.

After Dark in the Park December Programs at the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors throughout December.  These programs are free, but park entrance fees may apply. Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

Free Hawaiian Music Concert.  Enjoy an evening of music by talented songwriters. In August 2012, the park sponsored a three-day “Hawaiian Music Songwriters Retreat” that attracted participants from Hawai‘i Island and as far away as California. These talented songwriters gather again to show off their newly honed skills. The featured artists include Kauhane Heloca, Ida Hanohano, Desiree Cruz, Doodie Downs, Ku‘u Makuakāne, Ali‘i Keana‘aina, Pililani Pua-Kaipo and Olanui Robbins. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.
When: Wed., Dec. 19 at 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:15 p.m.)
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

John and Hope Keawe

John and Hope Keawe

 John Keawe “Cool December Night” Concert.  Award-winning kiho‘alu (slack key) guitarist, composer and recording artist, John Keawe warms the Kīlauea Visitor Center auditorium with his music. His wife Hope provides moving interpretations of his music with her graceful hula. Winner of the 2009 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Slack Key Album of the Year award for his CD “Hawai‘i Island is My Home”, John and Hope will ring in the holidays with their music, hula and aloha spirit. This program is expected to be well-attended so come early for seating. John’s CDs and DVDs will be available for purchase the evening of the performance. This program featuring John and Hope Keawe’s lovely music and hula was produced by the University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa Outreach College’s Statewide Cultural Extension Program. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18. at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Festival of Lights Returns to Kings’ Shops this Saturday

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Kings’ Shops in Waikoloa Beach Resort. Bring the entire family to see a magical display of over 15,000 dancing lights sequenced to holiday music.

Kings Shops

The show starts Saturday, December 8th with three shows nightly at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. and will run through to December 30th.

With over 5,000 additional new lights, new Christmas trees and a new line up of songs the show is bound to lift spirits and spread holiday cheer.

“The tenants and management at the Kings’ Shops are looking forward to our guests seeing the new Christmas décor and expanded light show. I think the whole family will be amazed” said Steven Schwartz, General Manager of Kings’ Shops.

For more information visit www.kingsshops.com or call (808) 886-8811


Deer Rescued From the Ocean During Four Seasons Maui Outrigger Program

Check out this story I just saw uploaded on to YouTube:

Deer rescued from the sea during Four Seasons Maui Outrigger Program at Wailea Beach, Maui, Hawaii:

We were on the Four Seasons outrigger canoe on 26 October 2012 along with two other hotel guests and two staff from the four seasons. I was playing around with my camera and We would have been about 300 meters from shore when we thought we saw a couple of turtles. When we got closer, we realized that it was a deer and noticed that it was still alive and appeared to be swimming.

This deer was found swimming out in the ocean

This deer was found swimming out in the ocean

We paddled alongside the deer and were thinking how we could bring it back toward shore. The female four seasons employee in the video decided to try to use the buoy to try to get the deer back to shore. We paddled along side for a while, but she was able to swim with the deer so we decided to paddle back to shore to get more help. When the deer was near shore it started swimming back out to sea, however the paddle boarders and other staff were able to herd it back to shore and bring it on the beach. They put it in the truck and I understand that the deer was OK and released back into the wild.

(Note: A subtitle on my video says it was the 24th Oct however this was a typo error and it was actually the 26th.)

Big Island Police Arrest Second Suspect in Ali’i Sunset Plaza Robbery

Hawaiʻi County police have arrested and charged a second suspect in connection with a robbery in a parking lot at Aliʻi Sunset Plaza in the early morning of November 26.

Alexander Miller

Alexander Miller

At 11:20 a.m. Monday, detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section arrested 21-year-old Alexander Miller of Kailua-Kona. At 7 p.m., Miller was charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree assault and third-degree theft. He was held at the Kona police cellblock in lieu of $15,500 bail pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Tuesday (November 4).

A 26-year-old Kealakekua man reported that after he met a local man at bar, the man took him to the northwest corner of the parking lot to meet with five or six males. They punched and kicked the victim and stole his backpack before fleeing on foot.

The victim was treated at Kona Community Hospital for a fractured jaw and minor cuts and scrapes.

Police continue to ask for help from anyone who witnessed the attack or saw the victim talking with a local male in the Coconut Grove area. The victim was wearing shorts and a striped tank top and was carrying a backpack.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call Detective Walter Ah Mow at 326-4646, extension 238.

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.


Pana’ewa Zoo Discovery Forest Receives Funding for Phase II

The Cleo Foundation and the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and USDA Forest Service through Kaulunani Urban Forestry Program have contributed $10,000.00 each to the Pana’ewa Zoo Discovery Forest.

Kiwanis Kids volunteering at the Pana'ewa Zoo Discovery Forest.

Kiwanis Kids volunteering at the Pana’ewa Zoo Discovery Forest.

Along with an earlier contribution of $2,500.00 from the Captain Planet Foundation, the Hawai`i Forest Institute (HFI), Hawai`i Forest Industry Association (HFIA) and community partners are set to initiate Phase II of the project, which will include:

  • Clearing undesirable plants and trees;
  • Finalizing the Phase II landscape plan;
  • Engaging community volunteers in project workdays;
  • Creating interpretive signs and plant identification signs;
  • Installing viewing platforms; and
  • Creating web pages and articles documenting project activities.

“These generous contributions will allow us to iniate Phase II of the Pana’ewa Zoo Discovery Forest, a forest demonstration project at the Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens in Hilo”, said HFI Executive Director Heather Simmons. “It is heartwarming to see so much support for the project from funders both here in Hawai’i and out-of-state,” she stated.

Circle K Volunteers planting at the Pana'ewa Zoo Discovery Forest.

Circle K Volunteers planting at the Pana’ewa Zoo Discovery Forest.

Phase I has engaged over 180 community volunteers in creating and maintaining native and agro-forest demonstration gardens.  Many of the volunteers are children, who are learning about the native and Polynesian-introduced plants from forestry educators during project workdays.  “We are very pleased that the project is providing education, recreation, and volunteer opportunities for so many community residents and visitors,” Simmons added.

The Pana’ewa Zoo Discovery Forest features a display of native, cultural and medicinal plants that once grew in the traditional farms and native forests of East Hawai’i, including Polynesian-introduced plants that arrived with voyaging canoes.  These “canoe plants”, along with many endemic species, play essential roles in Hawaiian culture, for food, fiber, tools, implements, building materials, and medicine. Many of these culturally significant plants can be found at the Discovery forest.