Big Island Police Renew Request for Public’s Help in Locating Missing Japanese Man

Hawaiʻi Island police are renewing their request for the public’s help in locating a missing 51-year-old Japanese National.

Hiromichi Yoshino

Hiromichi Yoshino

Hiromichi Yoshino was last seen in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on February 13 at approximately 9 a.m. His rented vehicle, a burgundy Kia four-door sedan, was found unlocked and unattended at the end of Route 130 at the Lava Viewing area. The vehicle is believed to have been there since February 14. Yoshino had been staying at a bed and breakfast in Volcano Village.

Persons with information on his disappearance or his whereabouts are asked to call Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2378 or or the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Senator Ruderman and Senator Espero Meet With Detainee Roger Christie at Federal Detention Center

At 8:00am today, Senator Russell Ruderman, joined by Senator Will Espero, met with federal detainee Roger Christie at the Federal Detention Center (FDC) in Honolulu to discuss his incarceration, health, and rights as a United States citizen under the United States Constitution. Mr. Christie has been held now for almost three years without a bail hearing or a trial.

Senator Espero and Ruderman at the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu

Senator Espero and Ruderman at the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu

After weeks of requests and assurances, the U.S. Attorney’s Office granted permission for Senator Ruderman, representing Christie’s district, and Senator Espero, Chair of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, to visit Mr. Christie at the FDC in Honolulu with restrictions, including that no media shall be present. Mr. Christie has not been allowed to meet with media despite requests from National Geographic, Newsweek and Honolulu Civil Beat among many others.

In June of 2010, Mr. Christie, along with twelve co-defendants, was charged with manufacture, possession with intent to sell marijuana. The other defendants have been released on bail pending trial. Prior to the detention hearing, Mr. Christie was interviewed by the Office of Pretrial Services and on July 13, 2010, Pretrial Services issued a report that recommended that Mr. Christie be released on an unsecured bond of $50,000.

In the almost three years since that recommendation, all efforts to have Mr. Christie released pending trial or have access to a speedy trial have been denied. Visitations have been severely limited by the FDC including those by his wife Share Christie, who has not been allowed to see her husband for almost a year. In recent weeks, additional charges have been added, and his trial postponed once again.

While the charges against Mr. Christie are federal in nature, holding a defendant without bail, while denying his/her constitutional right to a speedy trial is virtually unheard of in our state. Even those accused of serious crimes such as large-scale distribution of ice, violent criminals, rapists, and murderers are routinely released on bail pending trial.

To urge President Obama and the Federal Government to release Mr. Christie pending a hearing, Senator Ruderman authored two measures – Senate Concurrent Resolution 75 and Senate Resolution 42 – both of these measures have been passed by the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs.

Mr. Christie explained that he is content with the position he is in because he feels he is doing the right thing and looks forward to proving his innocence in a court of law, saying, “Dignity trumps longevity.”

Senator Ruderman and Senator Espero expressed their concern for Mr. Christie, the violation of his Constitutional rights, and the implications for all persons facing non-violent federal charges and deemed dangerous by the federal judicial system, such has been the case for Mr. Christie since July 2010.

Senator Ruderman said, “I have known Roger for over 25 years. He is one of the most peaceful persons I know. To anyone who knows him, the claim that he is a danger to the community is absurd.”

Senator Espero commented. “This visit was very enlightening. I still feel that Mr. Christie should be released pending a trial.”

Senator Ruderman and Senator Espero would like to graciously thank FDC Warden David Shinn, Asst. Warden Tom Blumm, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Kawahara, and Public Defender Thomas Otake, for their assistance and for the opportunity to meet with Roger Christie.


2013 Big Island Film Festival Announces Official Selections

Now in its 8th year, the Big Island Film Festival has announced 54 Official Selections for 2013, to be screened May 23-27 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani.  The “talk story” film festival is a celebration of narrative films and filmmaking, with free family films, nightly double features for grown-ups with gourmet food and no-host bar, and “meet-the-stars” celebrity social events.


Notable selections include the inter-cultural romance “Chasing Shakespeare” starring Danny Glover.  Continuing the legend of their ancestral Lightning Clan, a Native American family sends a talented daughter to reach for her destiny on Broadway.

“Home,” with Gbenga Akinnagbe (“The Good Wife”) follows a mentally-ill father on the slippery path to recovery and re-connection with his son.  The film’s ensemble cast includes Emmy-winning actor James McDaniel (“NYPD Blue”).  The short film “Liberator” stars Lou Ferrigno as a washed-up super hero dealing with his past, and co-stars Ed Asner.

Top contenders from Hawai‘i State and Island include “Strange Frame” by G.B. Hajim, Island Planet One Productions (East Hawai‘i).  This animated sci-fi romance won Best Feature at the Dragon Con Independent Film Festival, with the famous voices of Claudia Black, Tara Strong, Ron Glass, Tim Curry, Alan Tudyk, Michael Dorn and George Takei, to name a few.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, a slice-of-life drama, “The Land of Eb,” directed by Andrew Williamson, tells a touching story of Marshallese coffee workers in today’s South Kona.

Another Big Island film, “Bullitt and the Mystery o the Devil’s Root” is an island adventure,  produced, acted, and directed by Kona filmmakers Richard Gonzalez and Rockwood, with Shawn Lathrop, Darrin “DC” Carlson, Mary Croix, and a great ’68 Mustang.  In “Parts of the Same Circle,” the Honolulu team of Eric Nemoto and Denny Hironaga use intertwining stories and familiar local characters to create a kaleidoscopic (at times very funny) look at life and death in Hawai‘i.  And, from the Marshall Islands, Jack Niedenthal’s “The Sound of Crickets at Night” summons a mysterious ancient deity to reunite a Bikini Atoll elder with his family.

On Thursday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m., BIFF’s Grand Opening at The Shops at Mauna Lani will include a free sampler of movies with seven short films.  One of most unique, the animated film, “Searchlight Serenade: Big Bands in the Japanese American Incarceration Camps,”shares stories from the WWII-era big band musicians and singers who made history with their music.  The entire community is invited to come and welcome filmmakers to the Island.

The Official Selections for BIFF 2013 are:

  • A Perfect Day
  • Balancing Emma
  • Boys Are Us
  • Broken
  • Bullitt and the Mystery of the Devil’s Root
  • Bumsicle
  • Caterpillar’s Kimono
  • Chasing Shakespeare
  • Coffee, God and Gasoline
  • Fight Scene
  • Frame of Mind
  • Gabby’s Wish
  • Good Dog
  • Hangdog
  • Hatch
  • Home
  • Homecoming
  • If I Were A Bell
  • Last Call
  • Liberator
  • Lift
  • Lipstick Lies
  • Lost Dog
  • Monster in Paris
  • Offline
  • Out of Focus
  • Paper
  • Parts of the Same Circle
  • Pervertigo
  • Searchlight Serenade: Big Bands in the Japanese American Incarceration Camps
  • Shoot the Moon
  • Sidewalk Wars
  • Six Letter Word
  • Spaghetti for Two
  • Stenwyken
  • Stigma
  • Strange Frame
  • Sway Away
  • The Assistant
  • The Equestrian
  • The Future
  • The Intruder
  • The Invention
  • The Land of Eb
  • The Lion’s Den
  • The Perfection of Anna
  • The Regret of the Doubt
  • The Sound of Crickets at Night
  • The Spare
  • The Visit
  • Upside Down
  • What if
  • You Got This!
  • Your Place or Mine

A limited number of ballots will be given to audience members during each screening.  Votes are tallied at the end of the festival, to determine the Audience-choice Feature and Short to be screened at Best of the Fest on Monday, May 27.

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 23-27, 2013. Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP.

For complete schedule information and tickets, visit


3.2 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area of the Big Island


Magnitude 3.2
Location 19.405°N, 155.408°W
Depth 10.1 km (6.3 miles)
  • 19 km (12 miles) WSW (255°) from Volcano, HI
  • 24 km (15 miles) NNE (19°) from Pahala, HI
  • 30 km (19 miles) WSW (256°) from Fern Forest, HI
  • 48 km (30 miles) SW (225°) from Hilo, HI
  • 329 km (205 miles) SE (130°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles); depth +/- 0.6 km (0.4 miles)
Parameters Nph= 54, Dmin=6 km, Rmss=0.14 sec, Gp= 36°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=2
Event ID hv60485551

Omidyar Fellows Accepting Applications for 2013 Class

Emerging leaders statewide are invited to apply through June 30 for the program’s second cohort

The Omidyar Fellows — a program launched in May 2012 by the Hawaii Leadership Forum — has opened applications for its 2013 class. Applications for the rigorous and comprehensive leadership program are now being accepted online at through June 30, 2013.

Developed by Bill Coy, director of leadership learning for the Hawaii Leadership Forum, the Omidyar Fellows curriculum is tailored to meet the unique and diverse needs of participants. The customized program includes a kickoff event and series of orientation activities, one full-day session each month, executive coaching, and conversations with current leaders. In addition, Fellows learn new skills, network with peers, self-reflect, and participate in personal growth opportunities.

Omidyar Fellows 2012 Class

Omidyar Fellows 2012 Class

“Last year we were fortunate to receive more than 150 applications from many engaged and dedicated individuals seeking leadership development for the benefit of not just themselves, but their organizations and their communities as well. We were impressed by the strong representation from all islands and sectors and the overall level of understanding and commitment to Hawaii” said Kalei Stern, director of Omidyar Fellows. “We look forward to engaging with the community and the next generation of leaders to build a strong second cohort of Fellows.”

Omidyar Fellows is looking for applicants who represent a wide range of sectors including government, nonprofit, for-profit businesses, and labor unions.

The ideal candidate for the Omidyar Fellows is someone who has:

  • Demonstrated, as a leader, the courage, commitment, passion, and capability to get things done
  • Solved complex problems within an organization or community
  • Developed a working style that incorporates problem solving, original thinking, collaboration, and innovation
  • Earned leadership responsibilities beyond his/her years of employment based on track record of accelerated achievement
  • Demonstrated engagement in the community beyond professional responsibilities
  • Arrived at an understanding of Hawaii’s cultural, social, and political contexts

As the current inaugural class nears the halfway point of the 15-month program, the Omidyar Fellows program hopes to build upon the momentum of its first year and bring these exciting opportunities to a new group of up to 15 up-and-coming local leaders. The program is designed with the goal to inspire and equip emerging leaders with the skills needed to affect positive, lasting change in Hawaii.

According to Colton Ching, a current Omidyar Fellow and vice president of energy delivery at Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., the program is already succeeding. Ching said, “Through the Omidyar Fellows program I have learned important lessons on leadership and developed lifelong friendships with my cohort that will be invaluable in my professional career.”

The 2012 fellows will be graduating in November 2013. Selected participants for the second Omidyar Fellows class will be announced in September, and their program will begin in October 2013.

For additional information about Omidyar Fellows and Hawaii Leadership Forum please visit Omidyar Fellows is also on Facebook at and Twitter at