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2013 Rubber Duckie Event to Honor Hawaii First Responders

In addition to bringing the community together to raise much needed funds for the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii at the 22nd Annual Rubber Duckie Race, Kings’ Shops and UCPA will honor Hawaii Island’s first responders.  Those to be honored for their exemplary service to our Island community include Captain Sean Sommers, Captain Brett Matsuda and Captain Gifford Matsuoka of The South Kohala Fire Station, Police Officer Kyle Hirayama, Field Operations, Area II of the South Kohala Patrol, Sergeant James Correa, Field Operations, Area I of the South Hilo Patrol, and Rita Hirai Director of Safety for Ocean Sports.

2013 Rubber Duckie RaceThe South Kohala Fire Station responds to all calls for incidents of rescue, fire, medical emergencies, and hazardous materials 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year.  The company’s three shifts of seven personnel are led by three company officers, Captain Sean Sommers, Captain Brett Matsuda and Captain Gifford Matsuokoa who are responsible for the safety of their crews, the lives of residents and the many visitors who visit the Kohala Coast. It takes many years of sincere dedication to master the job of leading men and women to mitigate these various types of emergencies safely and ensure all personnel return to their families at the end of their shift.

Police Officer, Kyle Hirayama, a 9-year veteran of the Hawaii Police Department is being recognized for the ability to share the “Spirit of Aloha” by providing great service to our community through professionalism and compassion.  Officer Hirayama’s compassion to go and check on a family’s welfare even though his part in the investigation was complete, is in itself commendable, it also placed him at a location at the right time and possibly avoid a disastrous outcome for the entire family, and may have very well saved their lives.  Sergeant Adams states that, “On this day, while dealing with a family who had just lost a loved one, he exemplified the core values of integrity, professionalism, community satisfaction, and most of all ‘compassion’.”

Sergeant James Correa, a 15-year veteran of Hawaii Police South Hilo Patrol is being recognized for his leadership of the Hawaii Police Department East Hawaii Task Force during an intense manhunt in December 2012.  It was through Sergeant Correa’s tireless dedication to the island wide investigation and it was under his leadership, that police officers were able to take the suspects into custody without serious injury to themselves, or anyone in the community.  Hawaii Police Department is fortunate to have effective leaders such as Sergeant Correa.

Rita Hirai is a Lifeguard Instructor Trainer, American Red Cross CPR, and First Aid Instructor Trainer and Specialty Advanced Trainer.  With her many talents, Rita is being recognized for her conscientious efforts to educate Hawaii Island community and co-workers at Ocean Sports in ocean safety. Under Rita’s watch, visitors and residents alike can enjoy the many ocean activities available on the Kohala Coast knowing the crew around them is well prepared for any emergency.

Public Meeting About Bill 79 and GMOs in Hawaii

Public Meeting about Bill 79 and GMOs in Hawaii Featuring: Hawaii County Councilmember Margaret Wille and CTAHR Professor of Tropical Organic Agriculture Hector Valenzuela.

Margaret Wille

Margaret Wille

Time: 7-9pm, June 24th Place: UH Hilo, room STB 108, Free and open to the public

Following a short film about Genetically Modified Organisms growing in Hawaii, Dr. Valenzuela will give a presentation around the effects of GMOs in Hawaii, and to other parts of the world. Council member Margaret Willie will be discussing the bill she introduced to the County Council that would prohibit any further introductions of GMO crops on Hawaii Island, called Bill 79.

GMO Free Hawaii Island will be presenting the work they are doing to spread the word about Bill 79 to the community, and will be reporting on actions they are working on with regards to the GMO issue. There will be question and discussion time after both of the presenters, so you can learn more and share your views about the GMO issue.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 15-Year-Old Pahoa Girl

6/19/2013 UPDATE: Hawaiʻi Island police have located 15-year-old Kaiini Nihoa of Pāhoa, who was reported missing. Police made contact with her in Pāhoa on Wednesday morning.

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 15-year-old Pāhoa girl who was reported missing. Kaiini Nihoa was last seen at Spencer Beach Park in South Kohala at 11:30 p.m. Saturday (June 15).

Kaiini Nihoa

Kaiini Nihoa

She is described as Hawaiian, 5-foot-2, 140-150 pounds with brown eyes and black shoulder-length hair. She was last seen wearing gray shorts with white trim, a gray top with white stripes, and slippers.

Police ask that anyone with information on her whereabouts call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Officer Jerome Manuel at 326-4646, extension 303, or jmanuel@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Governor Abercrombie Signs Bill Vital to Hawaii’s Honeybee Industry

In conjunction with “Hawaii Pollinator Week,” which recognizes the role of honeybees and other primary pollinators as essential to many agricultural and horticultural operations, Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed Senate Bill 482 into law to ensure the continued viability of honeybee operations in the state.

Gov. Abercrombie holds up the proclamation

Gov. Abercrombie holds up the proclamation

“We must encourage beekeeping operations of all sizes to ensure that honeybee stocks thrive in both managed apiaries and the wild, especially as bee populations have declined due to disease and invasive predators,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “SB482 will make beekeeping more financially viable for beekeepers to legally extract, bottle and sell honey by minimizing unnecessary administrative and bureaucratic requirements in ways that will not affect public safety.”

SB482, enacted today as Act 131, clarifies the maximum number of gallons of honey that can be sold by a certified honey house or food processing establishment without obtaining a permit from the state Department of Health (DOH). The measure also exempts from permit requirement sales of honey directly to retail stores that, in turn, sell the honey directly to consumers. In addition, the act provides for consumer protections by requiring honey producers to include appropriate labeling of each container of honey, take a food safety class, and make records available to DOH.

“Many small beekeepers have been unable to successfully navigate current regulatory hurdles required to operate a certified food-processing establishment on their own premises for the extraction and bottling of honey, which has resulting in many giving up beekeeping entirely,” said Hawaii Board of Agriculture Chairperson Russell S. Kokubun. “SB482 provides needed clarification to state law and greater flexibility to Hawaii’s honeybee farmers as not only a growing facet of our local agriculture industry but also a fundamental part of the long-term sustainability of the industry and the protection of our native habitats.”

Bee Polinator Week

After signing the bill, Gov. Abercrombie officially proclaimed June 17 through 23 “Hawaii Pollinator Week” to recognize the vital role of bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles in maintaining healthy, diverse ecosystems and productive farms in Hawaii and elsewhere throughout the world. Through the observance, all citizens are encouraged to be mindful of the habitats and public lands, such as forests and grasslands, and the conservation assistance provided by the State of Hawaii to promote wise conservation stewardship, including the protection and maintenance of pollinators.

Pollinator Week was first designated by the U.S. Senate and U.S. Department of Agriculture in June of 2007 and has been promoted annually by the Pollinator Partnership to address the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Varroa mites, small hive beetles, and nosema have decimated honeybee populations on the continental United States and recently throughout Hawaii.


MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty Leads 2013 Top 100 Realtors for the Big Island

Each year Hawaii Business Magazine ranks the Top 100 Realtors across the State of Hawaii based on the previous years’ MLS total sales volumes. At the recently announced 2013 Awards on Oahu, MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty had more recognized Top Producers than any other Big Island real estate firm, regardless of size.

MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty is a Big Island real estate company that consistently achieves top honors against much larger firms in more active markets across the Hawaiian Island chain. The key to MacArthur’s success is found in its commitment, decades of experience, in-depth knowledge of the market and a complete range of boutique client services, coupled with the international reach of the vast Sotheby’s network.

Rebecca Keliihoomalu, Kathy J.Christiansen, Pam & John Miller and Brodie Callender

Rebecca Keliihoomalu, Kathy J.Christiansen, Pam & John Miller and Brodie Callender (inset)

MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty congratulates its Top Producing agents recognized by Hawaii Business Magazine.
  • Kathy J. Christensen R(B), Vice President of Sales for Keauhou-Kona, not only ranked in the Top 100 Realtors, but was also honored by being placed in Hawaii Business Magazine’s Hall of Fame. Kathy has brokered a vast amount of real estate deals and is repeatedly recognized as an expert in luxury residential, oceanfront, commercial and development properties.
  • John Miller R(S) ranked #4 in number of transactions statewide this year and has had a consistent career as a Top Producer in both California and Hawaii.  John has over 20 years’ experience in real estate and mortgage. After 17 of those years in California real estate he expanded to Hawaii. On the Big Island, John and his wife Pam create a unique team and offer their talents and expertise in representing individual buyers and sellers, developers, asset managers and lenders, successfully achieving their goals through all market conditions.
  • Brodie Callender R(S) was born on the Big Island and is a seventh generation Hawaii resident. In 2010 and 2012 he was a Top Producer and has consistently performed as one of the Big Island’s top real estate agents, specializing in the high-end luxury residential properties along the Kona-Kohala coastline. As a previous sales consultant, Brodie, brings a wealth of knowledge beyond his real estate experience and has a broad understanding of his clients’ needs.
  • Rebecca Keliihoomalu R(B), Senior VP, has been called the “Best of the Best” by Luxury Homes Magazine and has been ranked by Hawaii Business Magazine as one of the Top 100 Realtors in Hawaii numerous times.  As a professional marketeer in the fashion industry, Rebecca brings great style and attention to detail to everything she touches.

MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty ranked #10 for statewide transactions with more top producers than any Big Island real estate firm.

MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty’s sophisticated, savvy and extensively trained agents have an intimate knowledge of the properties within our Big Island community. Sotheby’s International Realty® agents possess the qualities of integrity and discretion valued by our clientele.

For the connoisseurs of life, MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty stands ready to find that inspiring home that is as expansive as your vision. Serving the Big Island for 25 years with offices on the Kohala Coast (808.885.8885). Keauhou Kona (808.331.3131) and Waimea (808.885.8885).

Mayor Kenoi Traveling to Japan for Family Vacation

County of Hawai‘i Mayor Billy Kenoi will be traveling this week on a family vacation to Kagoshima, Japan to help celebrate the 90th birthday of his children’s great-grandmother.

kenoi and wife

Managing Director Wally Lau will serve as acting mayor until Mayor Kenoi returns.

Mayor Kenoi will return to work on Monday, June 24.

23-Year-Old Hilo Man Dies in One-Vehicle Crash in Hilo

Hawaiʻi Island police are renewing their request for information about a fatal one-vehicle crash Friday (June 14) that killed a 23-year-old Hilo man.


The crash on Kalanianaole Avenue near Kioea Street in Hilo.

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Responding to a 11:06 p.m. call, Hilo Patrol Officers determined that a 2006 Acura sedan was traveling westbound on Kalanianaole Avenue bear Kioea Street when it crossed the center line, ran off the roadway and struck a utility pole and a rock wall.

The driver, who was identified as Joseph Nieves Jr. of Hilo, died at the scene. An 18-year-old male passenger of Hilo was taken to Hilo Medical Center for injuries sustained in the crash and later transferred to Honolulu.

The driver and the passenger were both wearing their seat belts.

Police believe that speed and alcohol were both factors in this crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated coroners inquest and negligent injury investigations and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask anyone who saw the crash or has any information about it to contact Officer Tuckloy Aurello at 961-8119 or taurello@co.hawaii.hi.us.

This is the 18th traffic fatality on Hawaii Island this year compared with 14 at the same time last year.