Update on Yesterday’s Armed Robbery in Hilo

Detectives have charged a 23 year-old Hilo woman for several offenses in connection with an armed robbery that occurred in Downtown Hilo.

Tia Nohealani Menino

Tia Nohealani Menino

Last night (January 31, 2013) at 10:00 pm, after conferring with prosecutors, Tia Nohealani Menino was charged for first degree robbery, first degree terroristic threatening, use of a firearm in commission of a separate felony, third degree theft, two counts of fourth degree theft, place to keep an unloaded firearm, permit to acquire a firearm, and registration mandatory.

Bail for Menino was set at $28,750 and she was scheduled to make her initial court appearance this afternoon.


Coast Guard Transports Injured Monk Seal From Big Island To Oahu for Urgent Medical Care

Coast Guard crews, working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration transported a Hawaiian monk seal from the Big Island to Oahu for urgent medical care, Friday.

Monk Seal

Coast Guard crews, working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration transport a Hawaiian monk seal from the Big Island to Oahu for urgent medical care, Feb. 1, 2013. The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the rarest marine mammals in the world. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric J. Chandler.

The HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, Oahu, received the seal at Kona International Airport, Kailua-Kona, Friday morning.

“The juvenile male monk seal, I.D. tag K68, was observed exhibiting what appeared to be breathing difficulties, but a diagnosis was not possible in the field and it was necessary to bring the seal in to a care facility for a health assessment and treatment as needed. As of 1:00 pm on Friday, the monk seal had been transferred to the Waikiki Aquarium, and NOAA Fisheries veterinarians were preparing to conduct diagnostic procedures such as x-rays and ultrasound. NOAA Fisheries will provide an update early next week after a full health assessment has been completed.” said Dr. Jeffrey Walters, NOAA Marine Mammal Branch Chief.

The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the rarest marine mammals in the world. Part of the true seal family, they are one of only two remaining monk seal species.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Veterinarian Michelle Barbieri travels from the Big Island to Oahu aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point with a Hawaiian monk seal Feb. 1, 2013. The Hawaiian monk seal was suffering respiratory problems and Coast Guard air crews transported him to Oahu for medical care. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric J. Chandler.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Veterinarian Michelle Barbieri travels from the Big Island to Oahu aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point with a Hawaiian monk seal Feb. 1, 2013. The Hawaiian monk seal was suffering respiratory problems and Coast Guard air crews transported him to Oahu for medical care. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric J. Chandler.

Safeguarding marine mammals falls under the Coast Guard’s living marine resources mission, one of the service’s 11 statutory missions. The nation’s waterways and their ecosystems are vital to the country’s economy and health. This includes ensuring the country’s marine protected species are provided the protection necessary to help their populations recover to healthy, sustainable levels.

The Coast Guard partners with NOAA on many living marine resources missions in Hawaii to protect endangered marine mammals including humpback whales. Operation Kohola Guardian involves coordinated joint Coast Guard, NOAA and State of Hawaii patrols of the National Marine Sanctuary during the peak Humpback Whale season months of January through March.

The 14th Coast Guard District is home to four Marine National Monuments and two National Marine Sanctuaries, more than any other region in the United States.

For more information on the Coast Guard’s many ongoing missions protecting Hawaii’s marine resources throughout the year contact the 14th District’s Public Affairs Office at 808-535-3230.

Harbor Modernization Project Begins at Kawaihae Harbor

The state Department of Transportation (DOT) Harbors Division kicked off a $7 million harbor terminal improvement project at Kawaihae Harbor on Hawaii Island today.  This harbor modernization project is part of Governor Neil Abercrombie’s New Day Work Projects.

Me in front of an LCAC at the Kawaihae Harbor

Me in front of an LCAC at the Kawaihae Harbor

During this morning’s groundbreaking ceremony, state DOT Director Glenn Okimoto said, “For the past ten years, Kawaihae Harbor has experienced steady growth; these much needed improvements will ensure safe and efficient cargo operations into West Hawaii now and in the future.  Kawaihae Harbor is a vital hub for the resorts, businesses, and residents along Hawaii’s west coast.”

The project will include paving 3.1 acres of land adjacent to Pier 2.  The container yard will be used by shippers to load and store containers.  The project also includes associated infrastructure work such as area lighting, fire protection and drainage.  An aging Harbors Division office and comfort station will be demolished and a new Harbor Division office trailer will be installed near the South Gate.  In addition, a new comfort station will be constructed. The terminal container yard improvements will increase cargo handling capacity by approximately 11%.

Construction is anticipated to continue for another 12 to 16 months.


USDOE Recognizes State Two-Year Race to the Top Progress “Hawaii has shown promising growth”

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) today released its two-year report on the 12 Race to the Top (RTTT) grantees, which includes Hawaii. The report covers the progress made through August 2012.

DOE Release

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) received recognition for a number of major accomplishments over that time period in the following areas:

· Transitioning to College and Career-Ready Standards
· Building Better Data Systems
· Supporting Great Teachers and School Leaders
· Turning Around Low-Performing Schools
· Expanding Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education
“Hawaii has shown promising growth in their second year under Race to the Top, and we are optimistic about their framework for continuing this progress,” stated U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We will continue to work closely with Hawaii to ensure they are enacting reforms that will improve student achievement and empower teachers to prepare all students for college and careers.”

“We are pleased that federal officials recognize the continued progress in our schools and the ongoing transformation of the Hawaii State Department of Education,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

Among the major challenges identified by the USDOE was the delayed principal evaluation implementation. On January 25, 2013, the Hawaii Government Employees Association and HIDOE announced that implementation is in effect and that an agreement on the principal evaluation, the Comprehensive Evaluation System for School Administrators (CESSA), was executed.

“We will make it clear to the USDOE that the principal evaluation implementation is underway,” said Superintendent Matayoshi. “There is still work to be done with the Hawaii State Teachers Association which remains a challenge but I’m hopeful that the State’s latest proposal holds promise for an agreement.”

The USDOE RTTT report does not cover the progress made by HIDOE since August 2012. Those highlights include:

· CESSA Implementation
· Professional Development for all teachers on Common Core
· Response to Intervention Training: A school-wide model of tiered interventions and supports for all students
· A systemic review of new curricular materials
· End of Course Exam development
· Additions to the Data for School Improvements System (an online system of formative assessment items and performance tasks, also aligned with Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Math)
Superintendent Matayoshi added, “We are making significant progress and we’re confident that continued achievements will lead to our removal from high-risk status.”

In late November 2012, HIDOE released its own progress report on its two-year Race to the Top performance and noted that it had completed more than 90 percent of its RTTT grant deliverables. The Department’s five-point plan for student success and progress resulted in major gains. Read more here: http://lilinote.k12.hi.us/STATE/COMM/DOEPRESS.NSF/a1d7af052e94dd120a2561f7000a037c/8b95cbde705830e50a257ac4008397a1?OpenDocument

In August 2010, the U.S. DOE awarded Hawaii with a four-year $75 million RTTT grant. In December 2011, Hawaii was placed on high-risk status. U.S. DOE officials have since acknowledged Hawaii’s progress in implementing important reforms, including programs to support educator effectiveness.


Animal Control Permits Available for Ungulates at Kaohe Game Management Area on the Big Island

he Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) today announced the availability of  muzzleloader animal control permits for feral goats and feral sheep at Kaohe Game Management Area, pursuant to Title 13, Chapter 123 (13-123-9).

Kaohe Game Management Area

Kaohe Game Management Area (GMA) is an archery unit for game mammals with no bag limit for sheep and goats. To increase public harvest efficiency of feral goats and sheep, DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) is allowing the use of muzzleloaders for licensed hunters by permit.

From Feb. 9 through April 14, 2013, permits will be available at the Kilohana check station for muzzleloader for feral goats and sheep with no bag limit, but every effort must be made to retrieve and harvest animals within designated areas.

Hunters must use every safety precaution in using muzzleloaders. Blaze orange is required for all hunters in Kaohe GMA, including archery hunters.

DLNR is increasing hunter participation in Kaohe GMA to protect Palila Critical Habitat from overgrazing of mamane trees from feral goats and sheep.

Further information may be obtained by contacting the DOFAW offices in Hilo at (808) 974-4221 or in Kamuela at (808) 887-6063.



Big Island Police Searching for Missing Diver

Big Island police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing 42-year-old man who was said to have gone diving at a location called “2 step” near Puuhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park on Wednesday ( January 30).

Jeremiah Nathan

Jeremiah Nathan

Jeremiah Nathan of Kealakekua was last seen in the area of the park on January 30, 2013 at approximately 4:00 p.m. and his vehicle was also located there.

Nathan is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-10, 150 pounds, green eyes, short brown hair and has a tattoo across his chest with Arabic-like lettering.

Fire/Rescue crews and Coast Guard personnel are continuing to search in the ocean for Nathan.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call Officer Bradden Kimura of Kona Patrol at (808) 326-4646, extension 253. Callers may also call the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 935-3311.

Hawaii House of Representatives to Open Chamber for Public Visits

The House of Representatives announced today that beginning Monday, February 4st the House Chamber will be open Mon – Fri for Hawaii State Capitol visitors and guests to tour the gallery area. Access to the Chamber will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., including the hours that the House is normally in session.

Hawaii House Chamber

There will not be an official tour, however visitors to the Chamber will have access to look around, take pictures, and will be given a brochure explaining the history and symbolism of the Chamber architecture and design. The House Sergeant-at-Arms expects about 100 visitors to the Chamber daily.

“The House Chamber is quite stunning with warm earth tones, a large copper and brass chandelier representing the sun and a magnificent tapestry above the Speaker’s rostrum” said Speaker of the House Joseph Souki. “Previously the chamber was open only during floor session and times would vary depending on the agenda. Now, given the expanded and set hours, more visitors will have the opportunity to sit on koa benches and experience the beauty of our Chamber.”

For more information, call the House of Representative’s Sergeant-at-Arms Office at (808) 586-6500.



Bills on Taro, GMOs, and Local Agriculture to be Heard at the Legislature

Bills on Taro, GMOs, and Local Agriculture to be Heard


WHAT:            The Committee on Agriculture will be hearing several bills relating to taro, GMOs, and growing our local agriculture industry.

WHEN:            Monday, February 4, 2013, 8:30 A.M.

WHERE:           Hawaii State Capitol Auditorium

WHY:               The Constitution of Hawaii mandates that the State “shall conserve and protect agricultural lands, promote diversified agriculture, increase agricultural self-sufficiency and assure the availability of agriculturally suitable lands.” These goals are also highlighted as a major priority in the Governor’s “New Day” plan. The Legislature aims to do its part to move Hawaii forward this Session.

WHO:               Chair Jessica Wooley, Vice Chair Richard H.K. Onishi, Reps. Tom Brower, Romy Cachola, Isaac Choy, Takashi Ohno, Gregg Takayama, James Kunane Tokioka, Clift Tsuji, Lauren Kealohilani Cheape, and Gene Ward comprise the Committee.

“This is a really exciting time for local agriculture,” said Rep. Jessica Wooley. “These bills could represent a turning point in the future of agriculture in Hawaii. Food security, increased local food production, recognizing consumers’ right to know what they’re eating, and protecting the most culturally significant crop in Hawaii are at the forefront of our agenda.”

The Hearing Notices posted below contain the bills on Monday’s agenda as well as links to submit online testimony.





Big Island Police Identify Motorcyclist Who Died in Motor Vehicle/Motorcycle Collisioin

HPDBadgePolice traffic investigators have identified a 45-year-old Captain Cook man who died Monday (January 28) in a motor vehicle/motorcycle collision on Route 11, south of the 109-mile-marker in South Kona.

The motorcyclist was identified as Dennis B. Huber of a Captain Cook address.

Gov. Abercrombie’s Statement Regarding Hawaii’s Race to the Top

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today released a statement regarding U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s recent comments in Education Week (“Race to the Top Winners Make Progress, Face Challenges, Ed. Dept. Reports; Feb. 1, 2013) indicating that the State of Hawaii “is now making real progress”in implementing its Race to the Top initiatives.


Gov. Abercrombie stated:

“Secretary Duncan’s comments about Hawaii’s progress are reassuring and demonstrate the positive transformations taking place in our public schools.

“We will continue to work collaboratively with the U.S. Department of Education to further improve Hawaii’s status.

“Race to the Top has served as a catalyst to improve Hawaii’s public education system, and represents an immense opportunity to invest in the professional growth of Hawaii’s educators by providing measurable, long-term benefits for our students.”

Read the Education Week article here: 




Youth Festival of Arts Comes to Kanu O Ka ‘Āina

Talented youth share their creative works in visual arts, poetry and music at the “Youth Festival of Arts” on Friday, February 22 at the Kanu O Ka ‘Āina New Century Public Charter School campus in Waimea.

Youth Festival of Arts

From 3 to 6 p.m., the public is invited to meet the artists and enjoy their mixed media arts exhibit, hear original and recited poetry and music.  Young artists age 10 to 17 will have the chance to experience art demonstrations by local professionals in “mini-classes” presented every half-hour from 3:30-5:00 p.m.  Admission is free and light refreshments are provided.

The family-friendly Youth Festival of Arts is presented by Lifeplan Youth Leaders of Waimea (LYLW), a project of Five Mountains Hawai‘i, and sponsored by the Richard Smart Fund of Hawai‘i Community Foundation.  The event will also incorporate the Senior Projects of three Kanu o Ka ‘Āina  students, including Luana Zablan, who is leading the organizing efforts of the LYLW group.

Student artists in grades 6-12, who live or go to school in Waimea, are encouraged to submit up to three of their best paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, textiles, “recycle art” or photography for the community display.  Submission forms are available at Parker School, Kanu o Ka ‘Āina, Five Mountains office or online, at www.fivemountains.org, and the deadline to enter is February 15, 2013.  Youth artists who attend the Festival will receive a Certificate of Participation and chance to enter prize drawings for art supplies and a Go Pro camera.

“The youth leadership team holds a vision of creating teen events that strengthen relationships between students from different schools in Waimea.  For this project, they wanted showcase creative talent to inspire and honor local youth,” said Robin Mullin, executive director of Five Mountains Hawai‘i and Lifeplan youth mentor.  “They decided not to have a juried show or competitive process, but to follow more of the traditions of ‘hō‘ike,’ sharing the knowledge they’ve gained with the community who supports them.”

Lifeplan Youth Leadership Waimea is part of the Lifeplan Institute Hawaii Island, a creative youth mentoring program, committed to providing 5,000 island teens with a goal-driven “Lifeplan” by 2015. For more information, visit www.lifeplanhawaii.org

For more information on Youth Festival of Arts, call Five Mountains Hawai‘i, at 887-1281 or visit www.fivemountains.org.

Big Island Police Searching for Kona Man Last Seen in Hilo Yesterday


Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 47-year-old man who was last seen in Hilo yesterday ( January 31) at 4:00 p.m.

Viktor Goy

Viktor Goy

Viktor Goy of Kailua-Kona left his home yesterday at 9:30 a.m. and has not been seen or heard from since an afternoon appointment in Hilo.

Goy is described as a Caucasian male, 5-foot-7, 185 pounds, with blue eyes, and gray hair.

Goy was last seen operating a 2009 Silver Hyundai four door sedan bearing license plate number ZAX-199 and was believed to be returning to Kona from the Hilo side.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts to 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.