Hilo to Get New Radio Station – 102.7 The Beach

On Thursday, July 4th at 12:00PM, HST, Hilo listeners will be introduced to RESONATE HAWAII’s newest radio station, 102.7 The Beach.  Featuring a unique blend of beach music, island rock/reggae and alternative rock from the late 80s to today.  102.7 The Beach will be a true “alternative” to radio listening in Hilo and the Big Island creating a absolutely unique listening experience for Adults 18-44.

The Beach RadioAvailable on-air at 102.7 in Hilo and online at http://www.1027thebeach.fm  102.7 The Beach will feature a wide array of artists such as Jack Johnson, The Black Keys, 311, Iration, Dave Matthews Band, Ziggy Marley, Muse, Sublime, The Green, Incubus, Jason Mraz, Pepper, Nirvana, Sublime, Pearl Jam, The Cure, Bob Marley, No Doubt, The Dirty Heads, Soja, Foo Fighters along with many others.

Complementing the station will be a launch party to follow in Hilo, concerts, an online connection to local events, music videos, photo galleries, concert updates, and multi-functional streaming player.  Fans of the station can also stay connected through instant messaging, Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites.

“I have been looking forward to launching this station for nearly three years.  This is going to be Hawaii’s first true Alternative dedicated to playing music you won’t hear on other stations.” said Matt Stone, Operations and Programming Manager, RESONATE HAWAII.  “People have been longing for something different on their radio dial here in Hawaii and we are very pleased to finally be able to give them a choice.  102.7 The Beach is The Alternative for Hawaii Island.”  Resonate Sales Strategist, William Zucker added “When you can effectively blend bands like the Cure and the Black Keys, still deliver ska and rock, all while maintaining the island lifestyle and identity that makes Hawaii so unique…you’ve got something magical, something that hasn’t been done and something truly unique to the market.”

Programming and presentation of 102.7 The Beach is being directed by:  Matt Stone, Director Of Programming, RESONATE HAWAII.


Owned and operated by RESONATE HAWAII, 102.7 The Beach “The Alternative” is Hawaii’s new rock/alternative/reggae radio station. Broadcasting to Hilo at a frequency of 102.7.  RESONATE HAWAII, also owns and operates KHBC 92.7 Hilo / KHWI 92.1 Kona – The Wave @ 92fm.


Family Ends Search for Missing Kayaker Off the Big Island

After a three day search with aerial, land and dive personnel the male kayaker that was missing off Kawaihae was not found.

Per the family, the search was to end today if nothing further was found.

Situation found at scene per HFD:

66 y/o male who is known to frequent the area separated from his kayak.  Kayak was found approximately 300 yards north of Kawaihae harbour mouth, 50 yards offshore.

National Social Media Day in Pahoa Tomorrow

National Social Media Day in Pahoa Tomorrow at Hawaii Youth Business Center/Mauka Makai Restaurant in Pahoa (former KFC Building).

HI-PAL 2013 “Click or Ticket” 5 On 5 Basketball Tournament Results

Fifty-nine (59) youth, (39 from the 5-8 division and 20 from the 9-12 age division), participated in eighteen (18) games during the Hawai´i Police Activities League (HI-PAL) 2013 “Click It Or Ticket” 5 On 5 Basketball Tournament held at the Honomu Gymnasium on June 15, 2013.

Coming out on top in the 7-8 division was Panaewa Sharpshooters, coached by Donald Yamada. Members of the team are (in alphabetical order): Kaikahi Deperalta-Hiuhiu; Zayer Fuiava; Kala Kahooilihala; Kahalia Masaoka; Caden Pasa; Royden Ratific-Justo and Braedy Yamada.

7-8 Division winning team: Panaewa Sharpshooters

7-8 Division winning team: Panaewa Sharpshooters

Coming out on top in the 9-10 division was PGU (Point Guard University), coached by Domonic Pacheco and Brandon Kauhi. Members of the team are (in alphabetical order): Kiai Apele; Paige Hiraki; Gyson Ogata; Dominique Pacheco; Keawe Silva and Ka’upena Yasso.

9-10 Division winning team: Point Guard University

9-10 Division winning team: Point Guard University

“Click It Or Ticket” is a nationwide campaign whose purpose is to educate vehicular operators and passengers on the use of seat belts/child restraints and the fines associated with non-compliance.

Commentary – Drunk and Disorderly in Pahoa

Editors note… All commentary should be sent to my email address:

Last night (Thursday) I drove through Pahoa about 10:30. Drunks were literally staggering all over the street and I had to stop so as not to hit them. More deadbeats were using the covered sidewalks in front of closed businesses as their personal flophouse and urinal. Where are the police? Why are places like Luquins, Black Rock, and Cash and Carry not being fined for serving those who are clearly too far gone to walk let alone drive. For those of us who live in Lower Puna, it’s police tolerating this sort of antisocial behavior that gives our area such a bad rep. We need some crusading exposé journalism demanding police presence in town and not just in their comfy new headquarters!!!

The new Pahoa Police Station

The new Pahoa Police Station

BTW, when I went to the Pahoa police station today to complain about this THERE WAS NO ONE THERE. That’s right. The station was completely unmanned. I rang the bell, called, no one there. It was lunchtime so I guess that took priority. The reason Puna is “lawless” is because the law is AWOL. Surely something can be done.

Amanda Claiborne

3.4 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area of the Big Island

A 3.4 magnitude earthquake just shook the Volcano area of the Big Island:

34 Earthquake

Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Kayaker Off the Big Island

The Coast Guard suspended the search at sunset on Friday for a fisherman whose kayak was found unmanned and adrift 300 yards of the Kawaihae entrance on Thursday morning.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

The 66-year-old man, Steven Wycoff, was last seen fishing at approximately 9:30 a.m. heading north from Mauna Kea beach.  Coast Guard watchstanders in the Sector Honolulu Command Center were notified of the situation at approximately 11 a.m. Thursday.

The Coast Guard searched with air and sea assets covering more than 228 square miles in coordination with the Hawaii County Fire Department and their resources.

“After a thorough search effort alongside the Hawaii County Fire Department, we’ve come to the difficult decision to suspend this search,” said Captain Shannon Gilreath, Sector Honolulu’s commander. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time.”

Ground Broken For $7.8 Million La’aloa Avenue Extension

Completed Mauka-Makai Connector Will Improve Traffic Flow, Public Safety

A blessing and groundbreaking ceremony was held this morning for a $7.8 million first phase of Kona’s La‘aloa Avenue extension project, creating another critically needed mauka-makai connector road to improve traffic circulation and public safety.
Ground Breaking at La'aloa

Ground Breaking at La’aloa

 The 1,900 foot extension, complete with sidewalks and bicycle lanes for safe multi-modal travel, will connect Ali‘i Drive with Kuakini Highway mauka. Currently, the nearest mauka-makai accesses are Royal Poinciana Drive to Lako Street to the north, and King Kamehameha III Road in Keauhou to the south.
An extended La‘aloa Avenue will ease congestion in the region, aid in orderly emergency evacuations, and allow motorists to get to their destinations safely and efficiently while maintaining the ambience of scenic Ali‘i Drive. The project is one of the top priorities of the Kona Community Development Plan.
“We are here because a lot of people worked very hard,” Mayor Billy Kenoi said at today’s ceremony. “Additional mauka-makai connector roads are essential to improving traffic flow in the region, which in turn improves public safety and the quality of life.”
This first phase will start with improvements at Kuakini Highway that will include a signalized intersection with acceleration, deceleration, and turn lanes. Isemoto Contracting Company Ltd was awarded the $7.78 million contract for Phase 1. Bids from contractors ranged from $7.78 million to $12 million.
A second phase, set to go to bid later this year, will upgrade the existing La‘aloa Avenue through the White Sands Beach Estates subdivision. Both phases are scheduled for completion in mid-2014.

Governor Enacts Legislation on Maui – Statement Regarding the Federal Shark Conservation Act

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed four bills related to land preservation, emergency medical services, small boat harbors and the Kahoolawe Island Reserve while at the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui.

Shark Legislation
“These measures will help to preserve Maui’s natural resources, encourage cultural activity, and improve emergency services,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “The population has increased significantly on Maui, and it’s imperative to provide timely responses to emergencies.”

HB1424 (Relating to the Acquisition of Resource Value Land) requires the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), in consultation with the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, to engage to acquire the parcel of land located at Lipoa Point.  This measure requires DLNR to ensure to the maximum extent practicable that the seller of the land uses the proceeds of the sale to benefit the pension plan of retirees of the Maui Land and Pineapple Company, Inc.

SB498 (Relating to Emergency Medical Services) appropriates funds out of the Emergency Medical Services Special Fund to establish and fund a 24/7 special emergency medical response vehicle unit based in Maalaea, Maui, including acquisition of a vehicle, equipment, and personnel costs.

HB1412 (Relating to Small Boat Harbors) requires DLNR to accommodate mooring of native Hawaiian canoes owned or leased by nonprofit entities and used for educational purposes in small boat harbors.

HB1328 (Relating to the Kahoolawe Island Reserve) makes permanent the exemption for the procurement of food or fuel products necessary for the Kahoolawe island reserve commission.

Statement Regarding the Federal Shark Conservation Act:

Gov. Neil Abercrombie agrees with Hawaii Sen. Clayton Hee and William J. Aila, Jr., chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, that Hawaii law prohibiting the possession and sale of shark fins should not be pre-empted by the federal government. Under proposed National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration rules, fishing vessels would be not be allowed remove shark fins in federal waters, but required to bring whole sharks into Hawaii to cut their fins off on land.

Gov. Abercrombie stated:

“We must preserve the strong position the Hawaii State Legislature took in May 2010 when Hawaii became the first state in the nation to make it illegal to possess, sell or distribute shark fins in the state. This model legislation symbolizes Hawaii’s concern for the welfare of all creatures. “We oppose federal pre-emption of the Hawaii law. Our law is working as intended. We have educated fishers and restaurants, and they are complying.”

HI-PAL 2013 “Click It Or Ticket” 3 On 3 Basketball Tournament Results

One Hundred (100) youth, (17 from the 5-8 division, 56 from the 9-12 age division and 27 from the 13-17 age division), participated in thirty-seven (37) games during the Hawai´i Police Activities League (HI-PAL) 2013 “Click It Or Ticket” 3 On 3 Basketball Tournament held at the Kea´au High School Gymnasium on June 08, 2013.

Coming out on top in the 7-8 division was Ka´u, coached by Glen Hashimoto and Helena Carvalho. Members of the team are (in alphabetical order): Domonic Dacalio; Loea Kaupu; Kaimana Kaupu-Manini and Jensen Navarro-Villa.

7-8 Division winning team: Ka'u

7-8 Division winning team: Ka’u

Coming out on top in the 9-10 division was Pa´auilo, coached by Sheldon Batin and Augie Augustin. Members of the team are (in alphabetical order): Kalia Augustin; Keani Augustin; Tre Walker and Bear Wawner.

9-10 Division winning team: Pa'auilo

9-10 Division winning team: Pa’auilo

Coming out on top in the 11-12 division was ´Imi Pono, of Waimea, coached by Mark Low and Kalewa O´Neil. Members of the team are (in alphabetical order): Thomas Key; Micha Low; Kyrell Mateo; Kalewa O´Neil, Jr. and Nalu Shimizu.

11-12 Division winning team: 'Imi Pono

11-12 Division winning team: ‘Imi Pono

Coming out on top in the 13-14 division was HD, coached by Davin Alip. Members of the team are (in alphabetical order): Maitland Akau; Aina Alip; Kelsan Cacoulidis and Kelvin Falk.

13-14 Division winning team: HD

13-14 Division winning team: HD

Coming out on top in the High School Boys division was Pa´auilo, coached by Sheldon Battin. Members of the team are (in alphabetical order): Shyrome Batin; Ayson Datuin; Sione Epenesa and Wesley Salboro.

“Click It Or Ticket” is a nationwide campaign whose purpose is to educate vehicular operators and passengers on the use


Waikoloa Beach Resort “Family Fourth” Celebration

Waikoloa Beach Resort invites the community to celebrate the pursuit of happiness, and their freedom of choice, with ten free mini concerts on two stages, carnival food and games, the annual Rubber Duckie Race and more, capped off with spectacular fireworks over Waikoloa Bowl.

Waikoloa 4th of July

Non-stop family entertainment starts at 10 a.m. with live music until 1 p.m. at Kings’ Shops, followed by the ever-popular Merriman’s Market Café Watermelon Eating contest.  New this year, Chef Ippy Aiona of Three Fat Pigs will host a “mystery box” cooking challenge at 1:30 p.m.

At 12:30 p.m., Salsa Latinos fire up the music at Queens’ MarketPlace, building up momentum for the fun to start, with free cotton candy, popcorn, balloons, and face painting from 1-5 p.m.  Throughout the shopping center, colorful Zoo Choo Train rides ($2) and carnival games (25 cents) treat the keiki to extra fun, benefitting Special Olympics West Hawaii.  Live music continues all afternoon, with Vizion 20/20, Life in Pursuit, I‘land Boiz and Bobby G & the Generous Thieves.

At 3 p.m., Kings’ Lake (Kings’ Shops) is the place to be for the start of the annual wet, wild and wacky Rubber Duckie Race, where thousands of the bright yellow waterfowl take a “quack” at crossing the finish line first.  Great prizes go to the winning ducks and 100% of the proceeds benefit the United Cerebral Palsy Association.  To adopt your duck, call Kings’ Shops, 886-8811.

The main attraction happens just after dark, as the fireworks extravaganza lights up the skies at Waikoloa Beach Resort.  Doors open at 5 p.m., with pre-show music by Vizion 20/20 followed by the big rock & roll sounds of Bump City.  Admission is free, and beach mats or chairs are welcome for open lawn seating, however coolers, alcoholic beverages and smoking are not permitted.  For more information visit www.WaikoloaBeachResort.com or call Queens’ MarketPlace 886-8822.

Kings’ Shops Events
10:00 a.m. – Kahikina Nahenahe ‘Ohana
11:45 a.m. – Dam Str8
1:00 p.m. – Merriman’s Market Cafe Watermelon Eating Contest
1:30 p.m. – The Three Fat Pigs’ Black Box Challenge by Chef Ippy
3:00 p.m. – Rubber Duckie Race
3:30 p.m. – Mystik Rhythmz
5:00 p.m. – Duck Waddling / Duck Calling Contests
5:30 p.m. – Honoring our First Responders & Awards

Win great prizes by adopting your duckie in support of United Cerebral Palsy.

Queens’ MarketPlace Events
12:30 p.m. – Salsa Latinos
1-5 p.m. – Free cotton candy, popcorn, balloons, and face painting!  Plus Zoo Choo Train rides ($2) and carnival games (25 cents) benefit Special Olympics West Hawaii.

2:00 p.m. – Vizion 20/20
3:00 p.m. – Life in Pursuit
4:00 p.m. – I‘land Boiz
5:00 p.m. – Bobby G and the Generous Thieves
8:30 p.m. – Full Circle

Avoid the rush!  After the fireworks for entertainment until 9:30 p.m. at the Coronation Pavilion!

Waikoloa Beach Resort is a complete destination resort that encompasses two championship golf courses and over 3,000 guest rooms in two upscale hotels, and seven luxury condominiums and vacation home properties. The Resort also includes award-winning Queens’ MarketPlace and Kings’ Shops, offering a wide variety of shopping opportunities, services and dining experiences, plus free entertainment and cultural programs. For more information visit www.WaikoloaBeachResort.com or call 886-8822.

Kohala Zipline Wins Business Innovation Award

Kohala Zipline has been recognized by the Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce with a Pualu Award for Business Innovation. The award recognizes Kohala Zipline for its commitment to product development, safety, and customer service.

The Headquarters is located in historic North Kohala at 54-3676 Akoni Pule Hwy, Kapaau, HI 96755

The Headquarters is located in historic North Kohala at 54-3676 Akoni Pule Hwy, Kapaau, HI 96755

From course design to ongoing industry-leading expert consultations, Kohala Zipline has set a high standard for zipline design and safety. Kohala Zipline’s course from the ground up is a complete experience, not just another ride or attraction.

There is an emergency brake in place at the end of each zipline for those that forget to brake

There is an emergency brake in place at the end of each zipline for those that forget to brake

It’s not just a zipline, it’s an aerial trekking course. Through the use of interpretative elements, innovative course design and expert guides, guests are engaged the entire time, not just when zipping. The unique course design, along with strong community involvement, has led to Kohala Zipline’s Business Innovation Pualu Award.

Entering Ewok Village

Entering Ewok Village

“We are happy our business model that successfully integrates safety, fun, conservation and community is being recognized with this award,” said Kohala Zipline President Rob Pacheco. “We have a fantastic team that provides memorable experiences for guests and this award belongs to them.”


Kahaualeʻa 2 Flow Still Expanding North of Puʻu ʻŌʻō – Ocean Entries Remain Active

Hawaii Volcano Observatory Report, 6/28/2013:

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow remains active north of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and has expanded a very minor amount into the forest, burning trees.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The flow, which consists of slowly moving pāhoehoe, has widened but advanced little over the past two weeks.

A wider view of a portion of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow margin at the forest boundary.

A wider view of a portion of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow margin at the forest boundary.

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, which is active north of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, is fed from a vent at this cone on the northeast rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Small openings at the top of the cone contain sloshing lava, and two skylights at the very start of the Kahaualeʻa 2 lava tube provided views of a swiftly moving lava stream rushing downslope.

This thermal image shows the eastern ocean entry at Kupapaʻu Point.

Photos courtesy of Hawaii Volcano Observatory

Photos courtesy of Hawaii Volcano Observatory

Just inland from the entry point a patch of slightly warmer temperatures indicates an area of recent small breakouts. Inland from this warm patch you can see a narrow line of elevated temperatures that traces the path of the lava tube beneath the surface that is supplying lava to this ocean entry. Two plumes of high temperature water spread out from the entry point.



Hawaii County Officers of the Month: Brodie and Kubojiri

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi on Thursday (June 27) recognized Officer Kevin Brodie as “Officer of the Month” for May and Officer Jeremy Kubojiri as “Officer of the Month” for June.

Aloha Exchange Club member John Stewart congratulates Kevin Brodie, 'Officer of the Month' for May, and Jeremy Kubojiri, 'Officer of the Month' for June.

Aloha Exchange Club member John Stewart congratulates Kevin Brodie, ‘Officer of the Month’ for May, and Jeremy Kubojiri, ‘Officer of the Month’ for June.

Officer Brodie, who is assigned to the Puna District, was honored for apprehending a fleeing felon who was attempting a carjacking after having just committed two home invasion burglaries.

On the night of May 4, a Hawaiian Paradise Park resident reported that an unknown man broke the window to his house while people were inside, entered the home and stole a laptop computer. Shortly thereafter, police received a report of another home invasion in the same neighborhood, where a man fitting the same description was breaking a window and had kicked in a door to enter a home while a child was home alone. The suspect removed a safe from the master bedroom, broke into a car in the driveway, and then rammed the house with his pickup truck.

During a search for the suspect, Officer Brodie heard honking nearby. He rushed to that location and discovered that the suspect, claiming he was a police officer, was attempting to take a vehicle from residents who had just arrived home. The suspect had opened the car doors, demanded they exit and give him the keys, and attempted to forcefully remove a pregnant woman.

Officer Brodie subdued and secured the suspect and conducted further investigation that led to charges for two counts of burglary, two counts of unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, criminal property damage, resisting an order to stop, phone ripping and impersonating a police officer.

Officer Kubojiri, was recognized for his performance of a special assignment as South Hilo Patrol’s drunk driving enforcement officer in response to the high number of alcohol- and drug-related fatalities in Hawai‘i County over the past several years.

For the period of February through April, Kubojiri made 27 drunk driving arrests, including one of a habitual DUI offender and four for drivers under the age of 21. During the same time, he issued 367 citations.

Additionally, as a field training officer assigned to prepare new officers for their solo assignments, Officer Kubojiri trained three officers during the month of May. While under Kubojiri’s supervision, those new officers initiated 11 drunk driving arrests, including two for drivers under 21. National studies have shown that under-21 drunk drivers are among the leading causes of alcohol-related fatal crashes.

In nomination papers, Lieutenant MelvinYamamoto Jr. said the number of drunk driving arrests made by Kubojiri and the officers he supervised comprised 29 percent of all DUI arrests made by South Hilo Patrol for that period. “Clearly, Officer Kubojiri is imparting the importance of keeping drunk drivers off our roads to the next generation of officers,” Yamamoto wrote.

As “Officer of the Month,” both officers are eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

The East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi.

Search to Resume Tomorrow for Missing Kayaker Off the Big Island

Land, Aerial and Dive searches were conducted by Fire and Rescue companies from the South Kohala and Kailua-Kona Fire Stations in hopes of locating a 66 year old male who was separated from his vessel while fishing off the Kawaihae coast.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

The victims vessel was found adrift, prompting a coordinated search utilizing resources from the Hawaii Fire Department, USCG, DLNR and Hawaii Police Department. The victim has not been found.  USCG will search through the night. HFD will resume it’s search at first light in the morning.

Situation Found at Scene:
Missing Kayaker, a 66 year old male separated from his vessel. Kayak was found adrift approximately 300 yards north of  the Kawaihae Harbor mouth and approximately 50 yards from shore.  The Kayaker was last seen on his kayak around 10:00 am by boaters in the area.


Puna Man Charged with Attempted Murder Following Spear Gun Incident

After conferring with prosecutors, Hawaiʻi Police Department detectives have charged a 49-year-old Puna man for shooting a spear gun at a 20 year old Puna man in the Leilani Estates Subdivision the night of June 25, 2013.

George Robert Curnutt

George Robert Curnutt

George Robert Curnutt of Leilani Estates was charged at 6:45 p.m. Thursday (June 27) with Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, he is being held at the Hilo police cellblock in lieu of $500,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

Governor Abercrombie Signs Bill Advancing Hawaii’s Clean Energy Goals

As outlined in the 2013 State of the State address, Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed Senate Bill 1087, which establishes a green infrastructure financing program for Hawaii. The Green Energy Market Securitization (GEMS) program is an innovative financing model that is designed to make clean energy improvements more affordable and accessible to underserved community members.

“This new measure allows us to bring clean energy improvements within reach for a broader segment of the community,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “More of Hawaii’s residents will be able to take advantage of green devices that will ultimately lower electricity bills and contribute to the state’s clean energy growth.”

Senate Bill 1087 creates the framework for a financing structure that will fund this clean energy financing program. Under GEMS, Hawaii’s underserved markets, including low- and moderate-income homeowners, renters and non-profits will be able to finance the purchase and installation of energy saving devices without the typically high upfront costs. Payment for the devices would be made over time through one’s electricity bill and paid for with the energy savings. The state’s Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) will facilitate the GEMS financing program via the Hawaii State Energy Office.

“GEMS promotes the democratization of clean energy,” explained DBEDT Director Richard Lim, who was the legislation’s architect. “We are taking a proven rate-reduction bond structure and using it in an innovative way to provide low-cost financing to utility customers.”

The next step for GEMS is for DBEDT to file financing order and program order applications for review by the Public Utilities Commission. GEMS is targeted for implementation in 2014.


Governor Signs Healthcare Transformation Bill
Enacts Other Measures Related to Kupuna, Housing, and State Service Access

Gov. Abercrombie also signed House Bill 656, establishing the Health Care Transformation Program within the Governor’s office to advance the transformation.

“Improving health and the quality of care while bending the cost curve are among my administration’s top priorities,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Addressing these concerns requires a new systematic approach that affects health care statewide.”

HB656 (Relating to Health Care Administrative Uniformity) also sets specific responsibilities for creating a strategy and timeline for statewide healthcare transformation that includes developing standards to measure quality and costs, reducing administrative burdens for providers and insurers, and improving and expanding the use of information technology to support transformation.

The measure explicitly gives the Governor the authority to obtain information by consulting with any stakeholders, individually or in groups, as part of the foundation for transformation. This is crucial since the healthcare sector cannot make systematic, coordinated changes of its own volition because:

  • antitrust issues preclude many kinds of concerted group action that are not mandated and/or supervised by government authority;
  • while insurers, hospitals, and provider groups can all make sweeping changes within the scope of their own organizations, these changes may have little effect on the rest of the system; and
  • private sector health organizations agree on improving health, quality and cost, but implementing strategies without regulation or at least industry coordination is difficult because such organizations may have mixed motivations in a competitive environment.

“The cost of health care affects every resident and business in Hawaii,” said Beth Giesting, the state’s Healthcare Transformation Coordinator. “While health insurance premiums in Hawaii are relatively modest and offer good coverage, the inflationary trend – on average about 6 percent per year – results in wage stagnation and limited opportunities for business expansion.”

More than any other entity in Hawaii, the state is directly impacted by the effectiveness of the healthcare system as it purchases coverage for nearly 40 percent of the population, and that percentage will grow when new eligibility provisions and requirements under the federal Affordable Care Act result in Medicaid expansion. Med-QUEST programs now cover more than 20 percent of the state’s population with a budget of nearly $2 billion. The Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund covers nearly 15 percent of the population (Its annual budget is $523 million and it carries an unfunded liability of $14.4 billion). The state budget also supports the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, emergency and trauma services at other facilities, behavioral health care, federally qualified health centers, and more.

In addition, Gov. Abercrombie signed the following other measures in separate bill signing ceremonies:

Kupuna Bills
Individuals 65 years or older account for 14.7 percent of Hawaii’s population, which makes Hawaii the eighth in the nation in terms of the greatest percentage of older Americans. The following bills provide protections and resources needed for Hawaii’s growing kupuna population.

  • HB529 (Relating to Care Homes)
  • HB120 (Relating to Health)
  • SB106 (Relating to Aging)
  • HB398 (Relating to Human Services)
  • SB102 (Relating to the Elderly)

SB102 specifically requires that financial institutions report instances of suspected financial abuse of an elder directly to the appropriate county police department (via 911) and the state Department of Human Services via Adult Protective Services:

Oahu – 832-5115
Kauai – 241-3337
Maui – 243-5151
East Hawaii – 933-8820
West Hawaii – 327-6280

Other Health-Related Bills
These bills protect consumers, ensure qualified professionals provide medical treatment, and help families who have loved ones suffering from a severe mental illness obtain treatment.

  • HB847 (Relating to Enforcement Tools to Improve Patient Safety)
  • SB1074 (Relating to Physical Therapy)
  • SB310 (Relating to Mental Health Treatment)

Housing Bills
The following bills address housing needs and recognize that one size does not fit all when finding a solution to end homelessness.

  • SB515 (Relating to Housing)
  • HB536 (Relating to Public Housing)

State Service Access Bills
These bills eliminate barriers to state services and assist Hawaii residents who are deaf, blind or have limited-English proficiency so they can fully participate in the community.

  • HB266 (Relating to Language Access)
  • HB1430 (Relating to Human Services)

Coast Guard and Fire Department Searching for Missing Fisherman

The Coast Guard and Hawaii County Fire Department are searching for a missing fisherman whose kayak was found adrift near Kawaihae, Hawaii Thursday morning.
A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

Coast Guard watchstanders in the Sector Honolulu command center were notified by the Hawaii County Fire Department of the situation at approximately 11 a.m. Thursday. A passing vessel noticed the unmanned green kayak floating approximately 300 yards off the Kawaihae Harbor entrance with fishing gear and a cooler still on board.

The missing man is described as being in his 60’s, 6 feet tall, 180 lbs wearing black shorts and a fishing shirt.

An MH-65 dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point was launched to the scene and continues to search in coordination with Hawaii County Fire Department helicopters and boats.  The Coast Guard Cutter Kittiwake has been sent to assist with the search from Honolulu.

The Coast Guard is using Self Locating Datum Marker Buoys and the Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System to coordinate the maritime searches.  SAROPS was designed to use environmental data to provide the most probable drift of a person in the water or a search object.

The Coast Guard is asking mariners in the area of the Kawaihae and the north west side of Hawaii Island to keep a sharp eye out for the man and to report any sightings to the Coast Guard over VHF marine radio channel 16 or to contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.

For more information contact the 14th Coast Guard District Public Affairs Office at (808) 535-3230.

Kona and Kauai to Get New WestJet Flights From Canada

WestJet today announced new, daily service between Vancouver and Hawaii Island (Kona) and between Vancouver and Kauai (Lihue), starting this December.

On December 12, 2013, service between Vancouver and Hawaii Island increases to daily from four times weekly last winter. Service between Vancouver and Kauai also increases to daily, beginning December 14, 2013, from three times weekly.


“WestJet is the airline of choice for Canadians who love the Hawaiian Islands,” said Chris Avery, WestJet Vice-President, Network Planning, Alliances and Corporate Development. “With seamless connections from many cities across Canada and no need to pick up your bag before you pre-clear U.S. customs in Vancouver, it’s never been easier to take that fabulous Hawaiian vacation you’ve been waiting for.”

In addition to increased service to Hawaii Island and Kauai, WestJet also offers twice-daily service from Vancouver to both Honolulu and Maui.

Flights are now available for sale at westjet.com.

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Kahilu Theatre Re-Opens Its Doors – Unveils New Membership Program with Free Family Fun Day

The Kahilu Theatre will host a Free Family Fun Day and Open House on Saturday July 6, from 11 am to 4 pm. There will be live music, circus entertainment, community performances and activities for the whole family. The Theatre will also announce highlights of its upcoming 2013 / 2014 Season, and introduce its new Membership Program.


The July 6th Open House will feature performances from award winning Aussie/English duo “Dream State Circus” who will delight and entertain with high skill Acrobalance and juggling, and the Big Island’s own Ari will entertain as Loco Moco Circus.

The event will also feature live music from Grammy Award Winner Charles Brotman, Carly Smith, Hama’jang, Gonzo & Larry Broidio, and Gary Washburn and Maelan Abran from the Honoka`a Jazz Band. The event will also feature performances by the youth from the Summer Arts program – a five-week fun-filled exploration of world dance, music, and culture directed by Michál Anna Carrillo, which has been running daily at the Theatre.

Circus 2

The event will feature delicious food for sale from The Fish and The Hog, as well as beer for sale from the Brewhaus – and free soda. Prizes, including annual Family Memberships, Kahilu Theatre t-shirts, and more will be given away every hour.

Kahilu Launches New Membership Program

After a year of hard work and community input, Kahilu will re-open its doors as a community hub. As part of this renewed community emphasis, the Theatre is inviting the Hawai`i Island community to invest in Kahilu by joining its new membership program.

“We’re so excited to launch our come-back season after a year of “intermission”, said Kahilu Board of Directors President, Mimi K. Kerley. “We have been working closely with the community for over a year now and have a good sense of what people want to see and do at the theatre. Launching our membership program is a huge step forward! We are really excited to create a Kahilu `Ohana that encourages people to become members of the Theatre and invest in community arts and education.”

Individual memberships will start at $35. The Theatre is also offering Student memberships for $25 and Family memberships for $50. All members will get discounts on Kahilu presented shows and other performances, discounts for education programs, subscriptions to the Kahilu e-newsletter, invitations to open house events and recognition in the Kahilu annual report. At the Supporting level of $100 and Contributing level of $250, other benefits include invitations to the Kahilu Theatre Season Kick-Off on August 2nd, free drink tickets to be used at the Kahilu Theatre bar, and invitations to an annual Backstage Party.

Kahilu Theatre has received a generous $50,000 matching grant to support its Membership drive. That means that for every new member Kahilu gets this year, the Theatre will receive a matching grant in the same amount. Kahilu hopes that individuals and families will join early and help make the $50K goal!