Wordless Wednesday – Cuteness Alert!

Governor’s Statement Regarding President Obama’s Remarks on Early Education and the High-Tech Economy

In a speech today at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., President Barack Obama stated that an education preparing the nation’s children and workers for global competition is a cornerstone of a strong middle class. The President also reaffirmed his commitment to make high-quality preschool available to every four-year-old in America and to spur innovation in schools so they teach the skills required for a high-tech economy.

abercrombieheaderIn response, Gov. Abercrombie stated:

“Education is top priority for my administration.  Hawaii’s plans for early education aligns with President Obama’s vision to make preschool accessible for all four year olds in America.

“A key component of my legislative package, SB 1093 (Act 169) was signed into law this past session, establishing a School Readiness Program that will initially help pay for about 1,000 children to attend preschool in 2014.  This is the first time that the state is codifying into law its commitment to preparing young children for success in school.

“In addition, the Hawaii State Department of Education has selected eight schools for its Common Core Digital Curriculum Pilot Project in the upcoming 2013-2014 school year. The initiative will support the schools’ implementation of new digital curricula, incorporating a tablet or laptop for every student and teacher.

“Furthermore, Act 264 will propel the Hawaii Broadband Initiative forward by mandating a clear and decisive timeline for state and county agencies in advancing ultra high-speed Internet access for all the people of Hawaii by 2018.

“Working together with President Obama, our goals are within reach if we make the investment in our children now.”


Big Island Man Files Writ of Habeas Corpus on Behalf of Rev. Roger Christie

A member of the The Hawaii Cannabis (THC) Ministry in Hilo has filed a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of his pastor, Rev. Roger Christie, who has been held by the federal government as a pre-trial detainee for over 3 years.

Roger Christie

Roger Christie in front of the former THC Ministry

Mike Ruggles, 56, a resident of Mountain View on the Big Island, filed the petition with the United States District Court in Honolulu on July 23, 2013.

Rev. Christie was arrested by federal authorities on July 8, 2010, charged with distributing marijuana to members of his congregation.He has been held without bail at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center for over 36 months.

“Roger was a pillar of the community and he is sorely missed at this time,” said Ruggles. “Since Roger has been gone, meth use and violent crime has gotten worse, not better. Roger’s influence on the community was more effective than 50 cops on the street.”

Christie founded his Cannabis Ministry in the early 2000s. The Ministry operated openly on the second floor of the historic Moses building in downtown Hilo, right across from Hilo Bay.

Federal authorities conducted an extensive investigation of the Ministry beginning in 2008.

Rev. Christie will argue for his right to base his defense on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act at a hearing scheduled for July 29th at 10:30 a.m. and July 30 at 10:00 a.m. in the Honolulu Federal Building Courtroom of U.S. District Judge Kobayashi.

“Our country was founded on religious freedom,” said Ruggles. “The government wants to shut down his religion. Whose religion is next?”


Big Island Police Charge One of Three Adults in Connection With Shots Being Fired From Car

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged one of three adults arrested in connection with an incident involving shots being fired from a moving vehicle late Monday night (July 22) in Hilo.

Alfred Fuller IV

Alfred Fuller IV

At noon Wednesday, after conferring with prosecutors, detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section charged 22-year-old Alfred Fuller IV of Hilo with first-degree reckless endangering, place to keep a loaded firearm and place to keep ammunition. His bail was set at $7,500. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Thursday (July 25).

The other two men arrested in this case, 21-year-old Justy Kahana of Hilo and 21-year-old Kaipo Kailipaka of Hilo, were released Wednesday pending further investigation.
Shooting Haihai
At 11:45 p.m. Monday, officers responded to several reports that gunshots had been fired from a car traveling east on Haihai Street between Heahea Street and Kinoʻole Avenue.

Police located the vehicle and arrested the three men and two 16-year-old boys. The juveniles were released to their parents pending further investigation.

Saturday – 18th Annual Huggo’s Wahine Tournament

The 18th Annual Huggo’s Wahine Tournament is coming up this Saturday, July 27, 2013. This year’s theme, Gods and Goddesses, celebrates the golden age of the Roman Empire when Gods and Goddesses mingle with Emperors and Empresses and even a few gladiators and centurions no doubt, at this fun fishing tournament with prizes for the best decorated boat and best costumed team.

Wahine Tournament

Proceeds from the tournament are donated to Family Support Hawaii (FSH), formally Family Support Services of West Hawaii, which is a Hawaii Island United Way agency.

“We’re excited to be hosting our annual Wahine Tournament,” said Huggo’s owner Eric von Platen Luder. “Over the past 18 years this fun, charity-focused tournament has donated more than $130,000 to Family Support Hawaii. We’re thankful that through the community’s support of the event, FSH can make a difference in people’s lives.”

All-women anglers are competing for cash prizes which will be awarded to the teams with the biggest marlin/billfish weighing more than 300 pounds. There will also be tuna, ono, and mahi mahi categories that will receive trophies for the largest catch.

Prizes and cash will also be awarded to the best decorated boat and team costumes. Awards will be announced at a special awards presentation Sunday evening, July 28 at On the Rocks.

For tournament details, visit Huggos.com or call 808-987-9734 or 808-329-2840. To learn more about Family Support Hawaii, visit fsswh.org or call 808-326-7778.


6th Annual Hawaii Island Humane Society Hawaii Horse Expo Coming Up

The 6th annual Hawaii Island Humane Society Hawaii Horse Expo is coming up August 10 and 11 at the Paniolo Heritage Center at Pukalani Stables in Waimea on Hawaii, the Big Island. Proceeds from the annual event benefit the HIHS Horse Rescue Fund and the Paniolo Preservation Society.

Hawaii Horse Expo 2013A dozen experts from Hawaii and across the U.S. mainland representing a wide array of equine health and training disciplines will be hosting demonstrations over the two day Expo. The venue at Pukalani Stables allows for multiple Expo programs to occur simultaneously in three different settings for ongoing action.

On Saturday, August 10 clinics, demonstrations and presentations topics include Common Horse Diseases in Hawaii, Horse Trailer Boot Camp, The Art of Barrel Racing, Six Tricks Great Horseman Use Every day, Greatest Revelations about Horse Behavior, The Equine Mouth—Why Horses Evade, and Resistance Free Riding.

Sunday, August 11 begins with an opening ceremony with Pudding Lassiter and the Puu Moi Riders followed by a traditional blessing of the horses. Clinician demonstrations throughout the day will include Horse Trailer Repairs & Preventive Maintenance, Creative Exercises for Limited Riding, My Heroes Have Always Been Cowgirls, Best Friends Forever—Seven Strategies for Maintaining Harmony, The Unwanted Horse Problem, Ask The Doctor—Answers to Your Questions, Connecting the Dots—How to Have Fun with Your Horse and Be Safe, Building the Rider’s Confidence, Full Body Riding, and The “C” Word—Colic.

Hawaii Horse Expo clinicians and presenters are Charles Wilhelm, Dr. Brady Bergin, Lester Buckley, David Bodin, Sharon Camarillo, Leigh Godison-Grieve, Rick Lamb, Elizabeth Mason, Dr. Robert Miller, Dale Myler, Solomon Singer, and Dr. Lisa Wood.

Sunday concludes with the annual presentation of Hawaii Horse Expo’s Annual Mana Award to recognize an individual devoted to horse education and health. The 2013 award is being presented to Hawaii High School Rodeo supporters Wally and Edwin Nobriga.

Gates open both days at 9am with demonstrations concluding at 5:30pm on Saturday and 5:00pm on Sunday. The Paniolo Preservation Society Museum will be open to Expo attendees and vendors offering services, medical and nutritional information and crafts will be set up in the stable’s dining hall. Hawaii Island Humane Society will host a benefit silent auction and food vendors will help make certain everyone is well fed. Tickets, which are $30 per day, will be available at the gate. Visit www.HawaiiHorseExpo.com for more information.

The mission of the Hawaii Island Humane Society is to promote respect for all animals, prevent cruelty to animals, eliminate pet overpopulation, and enhance the bond between humans and animals. HIHS holds a contract with the County of Hawaii to enforce certain animal-related laws and it offers 24-hour service for injured animals and other animal emergencies, humane education classes, low-cost spay and neuter services, lost and found assistance, microchipping and more. Learn more at HIHS.org or call 808-329-1175.

Hawaii Pedophile Priest is Paroled

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

A predator priest has just been released on parole.

Mark Matson

Mark Matson

Fr. Mark Matson, a Catholic priest of the Colorado-based Theatine Fathers order, was tried and convicted in 2000 in Hawaii for sexual assaulting a 13-year-old boy. Matson was sentenced to 20 years.


This week, he was freed. (See official notice below.)

We believe Catholic officials, in Hawaii, California, Texas and Colorado, should use their vast resources – parish bulletins, church websites, diocesan newspapers and pulpit announcements – to warn families about him.

In addition to his Hawaii conviction, Matson has been accused of abusing boys in Colorado and California. Furthermore, a Colorado man filed a civil suit against Matson for sexual molesting and assaulting him at 13 years old at St. Andrew’s Seminary in the 1970s. (Miami attorney Adam Horowitz represented the victim.)

Matson also worked in San Antonio and as a chaplain at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii. He often performed magic tricks as a way to approve and impress youngsters.



Now that Matson has been released on parole, the duty of his Catholic supervisors isn’t over. They recruited, educated, ordained, hired, transferred and shielded him. They still have a moral and civic obligation to safeguard kids from him by warning citizens about him.


Date: July 19, 2013, 2:36:01 PM EDT
To: ___
Subject: A message from Hawaii SAVIN
Reply-To: The VINE Service <service_center@vine.appriss.com>


This e-mail is to inform you of the result of the parole hearing held on 7/17/2013, involving the offender MARK MATSON.

The offender has been granted parole.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Hawaii Paroling Authority by calling 1-808-587-1300.

This notification is sponsored by Hawaii SAVIN, the Hawaii Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification service, powered by VINE. It is our hope that this information has been helpful to you.

Thank you,

Hawaii SAVIN powered by VINE


Veterans Affairs Committee Approve Eight Bills That Help Hawaii Vets with Jobs, Care and Housing

Committee Also Included 3 Hirono Proposals That Will Have Big Impact For Hawaii Vets—Specifically Native Hawaiian Vets & Those Who Live On Hawaii Island

Veterans Affairs LogoSenator Mazie K. Hirono and her Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee colleagues voted to approve eight bills today that aim to help jobless vets find employment opportunities, improve assistance for homeless vets, improve care for female vets and keep benefits pegged to increases in the cost of living. The committee also approved three Hirono proposals that make it easier for Native Hawaiian vets and those who live on Hawaii Island to access programs that help veterans, as well as a measure similar to a Heller-Hirono bill that would help identify Filipino World War II vets who were wrongly denied compensation by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that was approved by Congress in 2009.

“The millions of veterans across our nation and the some 110,000 living in Hawaii have done so much to protect our freedom, yet too many struggle to find stable jobs, get adequate health care or even put a roof over their heads,” Hirono said. “These bipartisan measures approved by my colleagues would make progress in improving the lives of veterans by helping jobless vets find jobs, improving assistance for homeless vets and improving health care for female vets. I am also pleased the committee included three proposals I authored that will specifically improve programs for Native Hawaiian and Hawaii Island vets. I urge the full Senate and the House to quickly approve these measures so we can start giving our veterans the help they deserve.”

Yesterday Hirono introduced three amendments to help Hawaii’s veterans. Two of Hirono’s amendments would help unemployed Native Hawaiian and Hawaii Island veterans access programs to help get jobs. Another Hirono amendment would ensure that Native Hawaiian-serving organizations are eligible to be considered for public/private partnerships to assist homeless vets.

The Filipino WWII vets measure included in the package calls on the VA to review the process it uses to verify Filipino WWII veterans’ service and grant compensation provided by Congress in the 2009 Investment & Recovery Act. Many Filipino World War II veterans who applied for compensation could not meet the VA’s standards for documentation of their service, and this measure would allow the VA to work with the Department of Defense and military historians to help address various issues with the current process.

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 110,000 vets live in Hawaii. In 2012, the VA estimated 5.5% of Hawaii veterans were unemployed – a number that works out to more than 6,000 vets. In 2009, the VA estimated that Hawaii is home to almost 500 homeless veterans.

Below are summaries of the eight bills passed by the committee, as well as Hirono’s proposals that were included as amendments to two of the bills:

Putting Our Veterans Back to Work Act:
Reauthorizes the VOW to Hire Heroes Act and improves enforcement of employment and reemployment rights of members of the uniformed services. The bill also makes other changes to the law that increases employment opportunities for veterans. Hirono offered two amendments to this legislation.

  • HIRONO AMENDMENT: Outreach To Native Hawaiian Veterans For New Jobs Programs
    Native Hawaiian veterans and native veterans who do not live on tribal lands are not mentioned in the bill, which potentially excludes them from targeted outreach efforts. Hirono’s amendment essentially expands the scope of native veteran outreach to include organizations that serve these populations.
  • HIRONO AMENDMENT: Transportation Assistance For Hawaii Island Veterans In New Jobs Programs
    With more than 80 miles between towns like Hawi and Hilo, Hawaii Island’s geography can make transportation a challenge for some Hawaii veterans seeking to participate in new U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employment assistance programs. Hirono’s amendment would enable veterans to receive transportation subsidies for commutes up to 150 miles to and from their job site.

Helping Homeless Veterans Act:
Improves assistance to homeless veterans by expanding the definition of “homeless veteran” to include those fleeing domestic violence and allows the VA to increase the number of veterans from transitional housing programs to permanent housing.

  • HIRONO AMENDMENT: Include Native Hawaiian Organizations For Public/Private Partnerships Providing Legal Services To Homeless Veterans
    Hirono’s amendment includes Native Hawaiian-serving organizations among the entities the VA can consider in distributing the partnerships with public/private entities to provide legal services to homeless veterans.

Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvements Act:
Improves the reproductive assistance provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to severely wounded, ill, or injured veterans and their spouses by clarifying that fertility counseling and treatment, including through assisted reproductive technology, are included in the VA medical services package.

Veterans Health and Benefits Improvement Act:
Improves the provision of medical services and benefits to veterans. The bill also directs VA, in consultation with the Department of Defense, to review the process for determining whether certain individuals have the requisite service requirements for purposes of receiving specific Filipino veterans’ benefits.

Charlie Morgan Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act:
Adds a definition of spouse for purposes of veteran benefits to enable same-sex couples to be eligible for relevant VA spousal benefits.

Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act:
Extends VA’s Family Caregiver Program to all seriously injured veterans incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, regardless of era. Services include in-home and community based care, respite care, caregiver education and training programs and caregiver support groups.

Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act:
Increases the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans. The increase would be in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI), the same index that determines the annual rate adjustments for Social Security benefits.

Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act:
Requires a judicial authority to make a determination that a VA beneficiary poses a danger to themselves or others before being added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.