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Squatters in Paradise… Dogs on the Loose – What is the Solution?

Mahalo to Pahoa Community Police Officer Pacheco for helping to secure this building that has been an ongoing problem with squatters, homelessness and drugs here in Pahoa for the last few years.


Photo by Sean King

Photo by Sean King


After the police secured the building

After the police secured the building

We have a serious problem here in Puna and that is that folks are just taking over houses that are foreclosed and there is nothing the local police can do.  Here is an example of a recent letter I received with some things cut out to ensure their privacy:

Aloha Neighbors,

I know everyone is quite busy, so I will keep this as concise as I can.

I thought I would keep you abreast of a few issues that have happened in your neighborhood.  BTW, thank you for keeping me in the loop with other concerns happening in our neighborhood, past or present.

#1.  There has been squatters that have moved in the house on Kula Street. Some of you may know this as (edited) old place.

What I can tell you is this:

-They have established electricity

– The police can not do anything since it is a civil matter, not criminal.

-Chase Bank owns the house, and is paying the taxes on it.

– The Leilani Community Association can not do anything to help in this regard per advise of there consult with an attorney.

-The owner is the only one who can order these people to leave.

-Chase bank is not very forthcoming about taking possession of the house since there are at lease $40k in liens against the property. (btw, formally foreclosed in 2009 by the court system).

-There are several people that come and go all hours of the day/night.

-I do not want to pursue calling in a drug suspicion, as I do not want any retribution…

-Charlie Stanton, Leilani resident, has been kind to patrol the streets of Leilani as Neighborhood Watch, and knows of this matter and has even taken photos of a few cars as they have drove by and decided not to stop at the house as he was present.  Thank you Charlie.

Has anyone else been faced with this kind of issue or maybe can shed some light on this matter? Maybe an elected official?


#2.  On Friday, June 7th, (EDIT) roughtweiler attacked my dog in our front yard. I have asked her repeatedly to keep her dog restrained.  I have filed a police report in regard to this issue and my dog will need an expensive surgery to walk normal again.  The police have filed this as a vicious dog claim. The officer who reported to the call is Officer C. Arnold. He said to call the Humane Society every time I see the dog out of the owners yard.  The Humane Society said that every photograph of the violation will result in a fine. As many of you may know, this is not the first time I have had to deal with a vicious dog issue on my property.

Thank you for taking the time to read over the information in this email. If you have insight or know of a good resources to tap for more info to move either of these issues forward, I would be very happy to hear about them.  Also, if you would like to connect this email to others in our neighborhood who may want to know about this matter, please do so.

Stay safe and have a fantastic Friday!

So with that being said… does anyone have any advice?

Human Remains Found on Top of Mauna Kea

Hawaiʻi Island police received a report Tuesday (July 30) of human remains that had been discovered at a remote location at the 12,000-foot elevation of Mauna Kea.

On Friday, police conducted a check of the area with the assistance of officers from the State Department of Land and Natural Resources and a ranger from the Office of Mauna Kea Management. They located the human remains.

Detectives are conducting checks to determine identity of the remains.

Bail Set at $110,000 for Man Who Attempted Two Robberies in Hilo

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged a 37-year-old man in connection with two attempted robberies on Wednesday.

Kris Villasista

Kris Villasista

The attempted robberies in Hilo occurred at a gas station and a recycling center.

At 11:45 p.m. Friday (August 2), Kris Villasista of Honomū was charged with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and two counts of attempted robbery. His bail was set at $110,000.

He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday (August 5).


Public Informational Meeting on Proposed Puainako Street Widening Project

The State Department of Transportation (HDOT), Highways Division, will be holding a public informational meeting for the proposed Puainako Street Widening, Komohana Street to Kilauea Avenue project, to update the community and provide an overview of the progress.

Puainako ExtensionA formal presentation is scheduled at 6 p.m., however, the public is encouraged to arrive as early as 5:15 p.m. to view the project displays.

Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 5:15 p.m.

Waiākea Intermediate School Cafeteria

200 West Puainako Street

If you need language translation or an auxiliary aid service (e.g., sign language interpreter, accessible parking or materials in alternative format), please contact Robert Sun, at (808) 692-7578, seven (7) days prior to the meeting date. TTY users may use TRS to contact our DOT office.


Big Island Police Looking for Stolen John Deere Gator

Hawaiʻi Island police have initiated a theft investigation in connection with a tractor that was stolen from Hilo in June.

A John Deere six-wheel Gator

A John Deere six-wheel Gator

Sometime between 7:30 p.m. on June 27 and 5:30 a.m. on June 28, a John Deere six-wheel Gator 6×4 with black seats was removed from a private road off Kaiwiki Road in the Wainaku area of Hilo. It was valued at more than $4,000.

Police ask anyone with information about this case or the location of the tractor to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

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.


HI-PAL and “Click It Or Ticket” Hosting August Events

The Hawai’i Police Department is hosting several HI-PAL and “Click It Or Ticket” events during the month of August.

Officer Joseph Botelho Jr. at a HI-Pal Tournament

Officer Joseph Botelho Jr. at a HI-Pal Tournament

August 2-3 wraps up the two remaining days of the Jimmy Yagi Hoops Camp in which the HI-PAL program and the “Click It Or Ticket” message are featured. This event is being brought forth by the Department of Parks & Recreation with HI-PAL as a supporting sponsor. The events take place at the Panaʻewa Park covered basketball courts for the younger youth, (7-12), and at the Civic Auditorium for the older youth, (13-17).

On August 17, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament will be held at the Honokaʻa Sports Complex gymnasium. This event is open to the following age groups: boys 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, and girls 10 and under, 12 and under, 14 and under. The deadline to complete the registration packet and enter this event is August 12.

On August 31 a “Click It or Ticket” Volleyball Tournament will be held at the Papaʻaloa gymnasium in Laupāhoehoe. Further information on this event will be forthcoming.

Teams interested in participating or anyone needing additional information on these events may call Officer Joseph Botelho Jr. in East Hawaiʻi at 961-2220 or Officer Randy Morris in West Hawaiʻi at 326-4646, extension 258. For information on the Jimmy Yagi Hoops camps, you may call the Parks and Recreation office at 961-8740.

“Click It or Ticket” is a national education and enforcement campaign aimed at increasing seat belt use and decreasing traffic fatalities and injuries. The Hawaiʻi Police Department encourages all youth, teens and adults to use their seat belts