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Governor Abercrombie Appoints Judge Dean Ochiai to First Circuit Court

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the appointment of District Court Judge Dean E. Ochiai to the Hawaii First Circuit Court.

Judge Dean E. Ochiai

Judge Dean E. Ochiai

Judge Ochiai, 57, will fill a vacancy left by Judge Richard Pollack, who became Associate Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court. Ochiai’s appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

In 2011, Judge Ochiai was appointed by Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald to the District Court of the First Circuit, where he has adjudicated criminal and civil cases relating to misdemeanor and petty misdemeanor crimes against persons, property and status offenses, traffic laws, restraining orders, regular and small claims civil matters, and landlord-tenant matters.

“Judge Ochiai has tried 39 jury trials, more than 300 non-jury trials, arbitrations, mediations and settlements, and he has also supervised and monitored more than 2,000 civil actions,”said Gov. Abercrombie. “I am confident that his extensive and diverse experience will provide a well-rounded perspective to his judicial duties at Circuit Court.”

“I am very humbled by the Governor’s trust in me to become the next Circuit Court judge from a strong field of candidates,”said Judge Ochiai. “I will do my best to be fair, impartial, and to treat those who appear before me with dignity and respect.”

Prior to being a judge, Ochiai was vice president and managing attorney for the First Insurance Company of Hawaii, Ltd. from 1991 to 2011 and senior trial attorney for the City and County of Honolulu Department of the Corporation Counsel from 1988 to 1991. Ochiai also worked as an associate attorney for Damon Key Char and Bocken from 1984 to 1988 and Honolulu deputy prosecuting attorney from 1981 to 1984.

In 2004, Judge Ochiai was appointed to the Hawaii Supreme Court Attorneys Disciplinary Board, which is responsible for conducting hearings on attorney disciplinary complaints, fact-finding, and recommending sanctions, if applicable, to the Hawaii Supreme Court. In 2007, he was appointed to the board’s executive committee.

He earned his B.B.A. degree with distinction from the University of Hawaii College of Business Administration and his J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

Ochiai was admitted to the Hawaii State Bar in 1980, as well as the United States Supreme Court, United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United State District Courts for the Districts of Hawaii and Northern California.

Judge Ochiai resides in Honolulu with his wife, Rene, and daughter, Ellie.


Waimea Ocean Film Festival Opens January 3 – Ocean Experience, Ocean Environment, Island Culture

The Waimea Ocean Film Festival (Ocean Film) offers a stellar lineup of films and special guests January 3-11, 2013.  The festival headlines several TEDx and TED global speakers; world, US and Hawai’i premieres; plus a non-stop schedule of 39 stunning and thought-provoking films, breakfast talks and special cultural exhibits and events.

Waimea Ocean Film Festival Page

The festival runs at multiple venues in Waimea and the Kohala Coast before moving to Four Seasons Resort Hualalai January 7.

Find a festival program guide listing all films, talks and activities at www.waimeaoceanfilm.org.

Festival passes are on sale now online or by calling the festival office at 808.854.6095.  Passes will be for sale and available for pickup, along with program guides, at the festival’s hospitality desks January 2-6 at Kahilu Theatre and January 7-11 at the Ballroom Foyer at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

Film presenters and guest speakers headlining the festival include:

  • Jon Shenk, director of The Island President
  • Louie Schwartzberg, director of Hidden Beauty/Wings of Life and the video Gratitude
  • Jeff Orlowski, director, and Paula DuPré Pesman, producer, of Chasing Ice
  • Producer/director Phil Arnone of KGMB’s Duke Kahanamoku: Hawai‘i’s Soul and  IZ-The Man Behind the Music
  • M. Sanjayan, chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy and CBS environment and science contributor
  • Noah Idechong, Speaker of the House of the Palau National Congress and former chief of   Palau’s Division of Marine Resources
  • Bradford Schmidt, creative director of GoPro

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel are offering discounted rates to attendees purchasing a festival pass.

The Waimea Ocean Film Festival thanks all 2013 Film Festival partners: GoPro, SanDisk Foundation, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, The Fairmont Orchid, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Hapuna Prince Resort, the Matson Foundation, Blacksand Sound and Show, Kona MacNet, West Hawaii Today, Maria Peterson Catering, Island Girl Eats, All About Chocolate, Big Island Weekly, Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA), Big Island Brewhaus, Redwater Cafe, Parker School, Merrimans, gaiacreative, The Computer Doctor, Ke Ola Magazine, Joe Fagundes III (Kona Law), Maile Charters, Blue Wilderness Dive Adventures and Starbucks Coffee.

For the latest updates on films and speakers, follow the festival on Facebook, www.facebook.com/waimeaoceanfilmfestival, or visit www.waimeaoceanfilm.org.



Big Island Police Searching for California Man Reported Missing and Last Seen in Hilo

Hawaiʻi County police are searching for a 31-year-old California man who was reported missing.

Yogi Yoswara

Yogi Yoswara

Yogi Yoswara was last seen in Hilo at 9 p.m. on December 19.

He is described as 5-foot-7, 140 pounds with short black hair and brown eyes.

Police ask that anyone with information on his 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


Siren at Hakalau in North Hilo Replaced

The siren at Hakalau in North Hilo, on Highway 19 just north of mile marker 15 near Chin Chuck Road, has been replaced. The old siren was removed after being rendered unusable as a result of a traffic accident in 2011.

The new Hakalau siren

The new Hakalau siren

A final inspection was completed yesterday to verify the installation and function of the new siren. The new Hakalau siren will better serve the area with enhanced range capability, and increased reliability as a result of electronic activation and photovoltaic panels and batteries to maintain constant power to the siren.

The new siren is mounted on a composite pole, making it more resistant to deterioration caused by the elements or termites.

Hawai‘i County Civil Defense thanks the public for their cooperation and understanding during Thursday’s test of the Hakalau siren. As a reminder, the monthly Emergency Alert System and Siren Warning System test will take place as normally scheduled on the first working day of the month, Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 11:45 a.m.


Centenarian Life in Hawaii

According to the 2010 Hawaii Census Count, Hawaii has 306 folks over the age of 100 years old.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Puna has at least one of them in Saramae Williams Landers!

Saramae Williams Landers, of Pahoa. Hawaii Islands Oldest Resident

Saramae Williams Landers, of Pahoa. Hawaii Islands Oldest Resident

For every 100,000 residents in Hawaii, there are 20 people over the age of 100 years of age compared to on the mainland where there is only 10 people over the age of 100 per 100,000 people according to a USC Doctor that did a study on Centenarians in Hawaii.


Here is a video about the study done by Dr. Murali D. Nair, Clinical Professor at the University of Southern California that attempts to explain this phenomena


Public Meetings Set on Keauhou Bay Survey of Available Moorings

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) will hold two public information meetings in Kona on Monday, Jan. 7, to discuss findings of its survey of Keauhou Bay moorings and locations, as well as other boating issues in West Hawaii.

Keauhou Bay

Keauhou Bay

The survey was conducted by consultant firm Sea Engineering in December and found that outdated moorings in the bay need to be replaced. The meeting will cover DOBOR engineers’ plans to replace them and add new mooring systems to the bay.

The first meeting, from 3 to 5 p.m.., is exclusively for current offshore permit-holders who have moorings in the bay. DOBOR staff will discuss the findings of the survey and how to move forward with new moorings and permits. The meeting will be held at the Honokohau Small Boat Harbor conference room, 74-380 Kealakehe Parkway, Kailua-Kona.

The second meeting, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., will serve to inform the general public and boating community about the mooring project, and provide an update on repairs to tsunami-damaged recreational boating facilities, as well as general improvements to state small harbor facilities. The meeting will be held at the Hawaii Big Game Fishing Club, 74-380 Kealakehe Parkway, Kailua Kona. For more information, contact the DOBOR West Hawaii district office at (808) 327-3685.

HI-PAL Hope Chapel 3-on-3 Basketball Jam

The Hawaiʻi Police Activities League (HI-PAL) will have its 23rd annual “HI-PAL Hope Chapel 3-on-3 Basketball Jam” in Kona over the weekend of January 19-21.
Sign-ups are being accepted now through Friday, January 11.

Division are as follows: 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12, 13/14, Girls 12-under, Girls 14-under. Team rosters are limited to five players.

Due to the limited space available, teams will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. All interested teams should call the West Hawaiʻi HI-PAL office at 326-4646, extension 258, Officer Randy Morris at 936-2789, or the Hilo HI-PAL office at 961-2220 as soon as possible.