Public Invited to Attend the 2013 Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament Opening Ceremony

Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is pleased to announce that for the first time in many years, the public is invited to attend the 2013 HIBT Opening Ceremony at the Kailua Pier Sunday, August 4, 2013. This official recognition of teams from around the world marks the start of the 54th Annual Tournament. Ten countries will be spotlighted as each county’s national anthems is played and their respective flags are raised. Families and community members are encouraged to attend as the Kailua Pier comes to life with music and celebration.

billfishThe HIBT Opening Ceremony will get underway at 3pm with a Sunday afternoon of fun for the whole family. There will be food booths, craft vendors and free entertainment including the beautiful voice of Grace Basque and the always exciting Daifukuji Taiko drummers. Everyone is encouraged to take a seat on the bleachers provided. Then starting at 4:00, the Royal Court will open the official ceremony program with its arrival and procession. The Hawaii County Band will welcome each country as teams from Australia, China, Japan, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, South Africa, Vanuatu and the United States parade onto the pier and are officially welcomed to the 54th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament. Dignitaries will be on hand and acknowledged for their commitment to this iconic tournament and speeches will be presented during this momentous occasion.

The event is free and open to the public. Bleacher seats are on a first come bases so everyone is encouraged to come early. Plan to attend the 2013 Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament Opening Ceremony on the Kailua Pier Sunday, August 4, 2013 starting at 3pm.

Then on Monday, starting at 7:30 am, boats line up across Historic Kailua Bay, returning to the pier at 4:30 in the afternoon where spectators will see plenty of scoreboard action as teams weigh in at the end of the day, putting valuable points on the scoreboard.

HIBT event headquarters, retail and tournament control will once again be anchored at Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, located adjacent to Kailua Pier.  The Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is underwritten by the generosity  of the County of Hawaii Department of Research and Development and the Hawaii Tourism Authority. The tournament is further supported in part by KWXX Radio and numerous corporate and community donors.

For more tournament information, log onto

$147.8 Million Released for State Transportation Infrastructure and Facilities

Gov. Abercrombie announced the release of more than $147.8 million for capital improvement projects (CIPs) improving Hawaii’s harbors, airports and highways.

“Many of these projects will transform our transportation infrastructure, facilitate commerce, and improve visitor, resident and business travel throughout our state,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “I’d like to acknowledge the state legislators for recognizing these worthy investments.”

Allotment of funds for the following priority projects, identified by members of the state Legislature, has been approved by the Governor:


$44,990,000 – Pier 4 Interisland Cargo Terminal, Hilo Harbor, Hawaii Island – Construction for the new Pier 4 at Hilo Harbor which includes a new wharf, utilities, mooring system, and associated sitework; this construction will complete the new interisland barge terminal facility


$1,500,000 – Fire Suppression System at Piers 31A-32, Honolulu Harbor, Oahu – Construction to replace the aging fire suppression system at Piers 31A-32

$750,000 – Structure Demolition at Kapalama Military Reservation, Honolulu Harbor, Oahu – Construction management services to manage the demolition of approximately 24 buildings located at the Kapalama Military Reservation, site for a new container yard


$34,507,500 – Apron Pavement Structural Improvements, Phase II, Kahului Airport, Maui – Pavement structural improvements in the apron area at Taxiway “A” where aircrafts are parked, loaded/unloaded, refueled, or boarded; a phasing plan will allow for completion of the construction within the constraints of the airport operations

Airports Rendition

$15,000,000 – New Day Work Program (NDWP) Management Services, Honolulu International Airport, Oahu – Funds to continue professional management services for the Airport Modernization Program; this $2.3 billion program will transform Honolulu International Airport into a world-class airport (The current phase will culminate in the completion of the new Mauka Concourse, the first major terminal enhancement in more than 15 years)

$11,000,000 – NDWP Diamond Head Site Improvements, Honolulu International Airport, Oahu – Construction for various site improvements at the Diamond Head end of the airport; these improvements are needed for the construction of a new Diamond Head Commuter Terminal facility

$9,620,000 – Passenger Loading Bridge Replacement, Kahului Airport, Maui – Removal and replacement of the aging passenger loading bridges with seven new passenger loading bridges to accommodate wide-body aircraft with direct overseas routes

$7,000,000 – Roadway Improvements and Consolidated Car Rental Facility, Kahului Airport, Maui – Additional design for a proposed new Consolidated Rental Car Facility that will relocate and consolidate rental car operations to a new single location; this facility with the roadway improvements will improve customer convenience and reduce traffic congestion at the airport

$6,465,000 – Replacement of Elevators, Escalators, and Moving Walkways, Kahului Airport, Maui – Removal and replacement of the aging 10 elevators, three escalators, and four moving walkways to enhance the efficient movement of passengers through the airport

$2,005,000 – Lihue Airport, Kauai – Design of runway safety improvements for Runways 3 and 21 as required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to comply with federal standards

$1,500,000 – Re-Roofing Terminal Building, Kahului Airport, Maui – Phase II design for the replacement of the aging, original terminal roofing system

$1,300,000 – Honolulu International Airport, Oahu – Additional funds for the design of site improvements and the new permanent Commuter Terminal facility; the proposed new 44,000 square foot Commuter Terminal will be located east of the Diamond Head Concourse

$614,000 – Hangar 110 Renovation, Kalaeloa Airport, Oahu – Phase II renovation construction to re-roof the lower roof and repair and replace the exterior walls and hangar doors

$550,000 – Master Plan and Noise Compatibility Program Update, Lanai Airport, Lanai – Funds to update the Master Plan and FAA Noise Compatibility Program to address any subsequent growth of aviation at the airport; the updated master plan will include an airport layout and implementation plan, as required by the FAA, and recommend a noise compatibility program

$100,500 – Airport Runway Safety Planning, statewide – Planning study to identify opportunities and alternatives to improve airfield safety and update the airport layout plan


$4,000,000 – Kamehameha Highway Resurfacing, Oahu – Resurfacing and improvement of Kamehameha Highway from Waihau Street to Ka Uka Boulevard; improvements will include the reconstruction of pavement areas, upgraded/new guardrails, and drainage improvements

Highways Projects

$3,000,000 – Kalanianaole Highway Resurfacing, Oahu – Resurfacing and improvement of Kalanianaole Highway from West Hind Drive to the vicinity of Hanauma Bay Road; improvements will include the reconstruction of pavement areas, upgraded/new guardrails, and the installation of traffic loop detectors

$1,800,000 – Aliiaimoku Hale, Building Improvements, Oahu – Design and construction for building improvements, including electrical upgrades, exterior painting, reroofing, and related work

$750,000 – Kamehameha Highway, Traffic Operational Improvements, Oahu – Construction of an additional left-turn lane from Lumiaina Street onto Kamehameha Highway to improve traffic flow; the traffic signal system at the intersection will also be modified to accommodate the additional lane

$490,000 – Keaau-Pahoa Road Intersection Improvements, Hawaii Island – Conversion of the existing “T” intersection at Keeau-Pahoa Road and Old Government Road to a single-lane roundabout to improve traffic safety

$386,000 – Puunene Highway Widening, Maui – Design to widen Puunene Avenue from two to four lanes between Kamehameha Highway and Kuihelani Highway, including drainage improvements, left turn lanes, and traffic signal studies

$262,000 – Farrington Highway Drainage Improvements, Oahu – Design for drainage improvements along Farrington Highway in the vicinity of Princess Kahanu Avenue to reduce ponding and flooding in the area

$76,000 – Hana Highway/Kaahumanu Avenue Beautification, Maui – Additional funds to complete design for landscape treatment and erosion control along Hana Highway and Kaahumanu Avenue

$60,000 – Vineyard Boulevard Resurfacing, Vicinity of Palama Street to End of H-1 On- and Off-Ramps, Oahu – Additional construction funds needed to start construction of roadway improvements including pavement repairs

$50,000 – Farrington Highway, Replacement of Maipalaoa Bridge, Oahu – Funds for the rental of land easements during the construction of a new bridge that will meet current design standards

$29,500 – Kamehameha V Highway, Replacement of Makakupaia Stream Bridge, Molokai – Land and design funds for the replacement of Makakupaia Stream Bridge with a new bridge that will meet current design standards

Governor Signs Statewide Ocean Resources Management Plan for Effective Cross-Agency Resource Management

Fostering collaboration across government agencies, Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed the 2013 Hawaii Ocean Resources Management Plan, which brings county, state and federal partners together to ensure the sustainable use and conservation of Hawaii’s ocean and coastal resources for current and future generations.

“It is essential that government agencies at all levels work together to address Hawaii’s resource challenges,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Our lives are intertwined with the natural resources of these islands, from the local economy to our island way of life. This plan provides a clear roadmap for achieving a necessary balance between use and preservation.”

Gov. Abercrombie signs the plan into action

Gov. Abercrombie signs the plan into action

The plan was developed with the participation of county, state and federal agencies responsible for ocean and coastal resources. It identifies 11 management priorities for the next five years and pathways for achieving goals. The priorities are based on community outreach conducted in all four counties through public meetings, oral and written submissions, and social media. 

Tracking the success of the plan will be coordinated with the state Office of Information Management and Technology to take advantage of the state’s portal.

Abercrombie and plan

“The 11 management priorities address resource management challenges that can only be achieved through a statewide, coordinated effort among various government and community partners,” said Jesse Souki, director of the state Office of Planning. “It addresses some of the greatest challenges of our time, including the impacts of climate change and balancing economic, cultural and environmental considerations to ensure sustainable stewardship of our resources.”

The Office of Planning is responsible for coordinating the periodic update of the plan pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes sections 205A-62 and 225M-2(b)(6). The project leverages federal funding through the Hawaii Coastal Zone Management Program. To learn more about the plan and download a copy, visit or call the Office of Planning at (808) 587-2846.


Helicopter Crashes Near Hilo Airport

A helicopter landed hard in Hilo at 1:15 this afternoon at near the Hilo Airport.

Photo by Dustin Acdal

Photo by Dustin Acdal

Reports coming in is that “Paradise Helicopters in Hilo suffered a hard landing @ 1:15 pm resulting in the chopper on its side.”

Photo by Dustin Acdal

Photo by Dustin Acdal

There were five people on board, but no reported injuries.

Representative Chris Lee Encourages Marriage Equality for Hawaii

State Representative Chris Lee (Kailua, Waimanalo) issued the following statement on the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) report.


“In this free country we don’t measure basic rights by a dollar value, but I think the report demonstrates that continuing a policy of discrimination really hurts our economy, and hurts us all.”

The UHERO report estimates that marriage equality would amount to $217 million in additional visitor spending between 2014-2016.

Coming Up – Fourth Annual Volcano Rain Forest Runs

There’s still time to lace up, stretch out and start training for one of Hawaii’s most anticipated high-altitude endurance events of the year. Volcano Art Center’s fourth annual Volcano Rain Forest Runs is set for Saturday, August 17, 2013 with leadership once again provided by Kona Marathon’s Director Sharron Faff. Joining VAC’s aloha-filled leadership team this year is David Ranck, Kona Marathon’s Event Operations Race Director.

Rain Forest Run

Featuring a Half Marathon, 10K and 5K events, the Volcano Rain Forest Runs take place at 4,000 feet above sea level just minutes from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii Island. Runners and walkers of all ability levels come back year after year for the cool temperatures and cooler views while traversing through the Hawaiian rain forest in Volcano Village. This year’s event is co-sponsored by The Cooper Center, the Kona Marathon, Lava 105 FM, Ultima Replenisher and BioAstin.

The 5K and 10K participants weave through the lush native forest on the mostly flat, tranquil roads of Volcano Village while the Half Marathon course continues into the hills of the surrounding ranch lands, treating racers to breathtaking panoramic views of the Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa volcanoes.

Entry fees through July 31: Half Marathon–$75, 10K–$45, 5K–$30. Pricing starting August 1: Half Marathon–$85, 10K–$50, 5K–$35. Registration and complete race information is available at

Online registration closes Wednesday, August 14 at 11:59pm HST. Packet pickup and late registration will be held on Friday, August 16 from 10:00am–6:00pm at VAC’s Niaulani Campus located at 19-4074 Old Volcano Road, or on August 17 from 5:30–7:00am at the neighboring Cooper Center located at 19-4030 Wright Road. There is no race day registration for the Half Marathon, and registration for all races closes at 7:00am.

Race day action begins with an Opening Ceremony at 6:30am near the Start/Finish line located at the Cooper Center. There you’ll also find live music, entertainment by the Hiccup Circus, plenty of activity and food booths, a silent auction and much, much more. Free races for keiki (children) include a 100 yard dash for ages 1-4 and a 200 yard dash for ages 5-7. Prizes are awarded for all keiki participants.

Runners and their guests are invited to a Welcome Luncheon sponsored by Homes and Land Magazine on Friday, August 16 from 11am–1:00pm at VAC’s Niaulani Campus. Enjoy complimentary pupus and wine, along with hourly guided tours of the Niaulani Rain Forest. Engage with local artists as they demonstrate their work in conjunction with a special art exhibition, “Footprints in the Forest.”

The traditional pre-race carbo-loading dinner will be held on Friday from 5:00–7:00pm at the Cooper Center. An all-inclusive pasta and salad buffet will feature meat, vegetarian and vegan options, and includes beverages and dessert. Cost is $15 per person, $8.50 for children under 10, credit cards are accepted. All proceeds benefit Volcano Friends Feeding Friends. Call Donna Stickel for tickets and details at (808) 967-7800.

Botanical World Adventures has generously donated two Zip Line Canopy Adventure Tours for the top male and female overall Half Marathon winners. The Zip Isle tour is an unforgettable thrill: safe, accredited, 7 stage zip line tour located at Mile Marker 16 north of Hilo.

Alaska Airlines is offering discounted rates to Hawaii Island in honor of the Volcano Rain Forest Runs. Use Promo Code ECMU612 for travel to Hawaii Island valid August 10 through August 24, 2013.

All registered race participants receive 10% off at VAC Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Rainforest Gallery at VAC’s Niaulani Campus from August 16 through August 19, 2013. Explore for online window shopping in advance.

Registration forms are available online at and at VAC’s Niaulani Campus. Event Team Volunteers are still needed for set up, clean up, poster distribution, safety, course direction, parking assistance on event day, staffing booths and more. For more information, contact Sharron Faff at (808) 967-8240 or

Volcano Art Center (VAC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1974 to develop, promote and perpetuate the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaii’s people through the arts and education. VAC hosts this event annually, creating a community event that everyone can participate in. Everyone is invited to join as a runner, walker, volunteer or spectator.


Two Hilo Men in Custody Over Incidents Involving Car and Gun

Two Hilo men are in police custody in connection with an incident over the weekend involving a car and a gun.

At 2:37 p.m. Saturday, South Hilo patrol officers responded to a home on Laula Road in Hilo to a report that two men in a Honda sedan had tried to run two acquaintances in a pickup truck off the road and had threatened one of them with a handgun twice.

The first confrontation was on Kilauea Avenue south of Kawailani Street. The second was on Haihai Street at the intersection of Laula Road.

The driver of the truck, a 26-year-old Pepeʻekeo man, and his passenger, a 25-year-old Hilo man were not injured during the encounter.

Albert Espaniola Jr.

Albert Espaniola Jr.

On Monday at 10:30 a.m., detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section arrested the car’s driver, 25-year-old Hiram Kawelu III of Hilo. At 1:50 p.m. Monday, they arrested the passenger, 34-year-old Albert Espaniola Jr. of Hilo.

Hiram Kawelu

Hiram Kawelu

Both men were held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives continued the investigation.

At 10:25 a.m. Wednesday, after conferring with prosecutors, detectives charged Kawelu with second-degree reckless endangering, promoting a dangerous drug, driving with a revoked license and reckless driving. His bail was set at $13,000. Espaniola was charged with two counts of terroristic threatening. His bail was set at $20,000.

Both men remain in the cellblock pending their initial court appearance scheduled for Thursday (July 25).

Police ask that anyone who witnessed the incidents at around 2:30 p.m. Saturday contact Detective Clarence Davies at 961-2384 or

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.

Kanu o ka Aina Learning Ohana Receives Architectural Award

Kanu o ka Aina Learning Ohana (KALO) in Waimea has won the 2013 Jack C. Lipman AIA (American Institute of Architects) Members’ Choice Award.

Kanu o ka Aina

The award was established in 1999 in honor of Jack C. Lipman, AIA, one of the Hawai‘i Chapter’s distinguished past presidents. According to AIA Honolulu, the recipient of this award is recognized as having achieved an outstanding level of design—appropriate to the climate and culture of Hawai‘i, as voted by fellow AIA Honolulu members.

“Having won an award for phase I of Kauhale Oiwi o Puukapu and now also for phase II validates so much of what we are about, what we are accomplishing, and the positive direction that we are headed,” said Taffi Wise, Executive Director, Kanu o ka Aina Learning Ohana. “So many key people were involved along the way. In particular, Ken Melrose of Paahana Enterprises and Katie Benioni, KALO’s Kauhale Project coordinator, were two individuals who helped us successfully complete both the first and second phases of our project build.”

KALO Building

KALO hired nationally recognized Flansburgh Architects to assist in master planning a new central campus. The Boston-based architectural firm specializes in the design of academic projects, having completed more than 250 educational facilities across the U.S. and abroad.

In September 2012 the 9,100 square-foot Halau Pokii, home to preschool classrooms through grade 5, and the 6,200 square-foot Halau Puke, a native library for school and community use, opened their doors. Retired U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka was among dignitaries attending the celebration. The buildings occupy a site on Department of Hawaiian Homes Land and are part of the non-profit organization Kanu o ka Aina Learning Ohana’s womb-to-tomb community based initiatives to support culture based education and the community.

In 2010 KALO was officially awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for their phase one facility, the 9,300 square foot green building called Halau Hoolako, which also serves as a community resource and technology center.

The Kauhale Oiwi o Puukapu learning destination is organized around a piko, or central space in Hawaiian. It is around this large outdoor space that locations for present and future building phases are organized. Considerations for sun, wind, view, rituals, community and appropriate student spaces have been essential to each design phase.

The resulting designs are wedge-shaped, modular buildings that are repeatable, passively ventilated, wind-blocking structures capable of multiple configurations. When strung together, these modules appear curvilinear in nature and maximize viewpoints northwest to the Kohala Mountains and southeast to Mauna Kea. They are cost effective, energy efficient and embrace the beauty of Waimea.

The buildings reflect the value-based pedagogy of aloha, and are designed to celebrate life-long learning as the piko for the community, providing spaces for a culturally-driven educational curriculum for those of all ages.

“KALO remains humbly thankful for all the community and partner support, specifically DHHL, OHA, Kamehameha Schools, USDA Rural Development, Castle Foundation, and the USDOE,” said Wise.

To learn more, visit

About Kanu o Ka Aina Learning Ohana

Kanu O Ka Aina Learning Ohana (KALO) is a nonprofit educational organization based in Waimea that assists statewide with Hawaiian-focus education. Incorporated in 2000 as a Native Hawaiian nonprofit, KALO and its partners are working to establish an autonomous, holistic education environment for the children of Hawai‘i: grounding every child and adult in the values that have shaped and empowered Hawaiians for generations, involving every member of the community in determining his/her education path and preparing every child of Hawai‘i to thrive in the modern world, free from oppression and with pride for our heritage. Serving and perpetuating sustainable Hawaiian communities through Education with Aloha. Learn more at