Snakes on the Pali – Boa Constrictor Becomes Roadkill on Pali Highway

A dead snake was turned over to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) last week after it was apparently run over and killed by a Windward motorist on the Pali Highway last Sunday (Sept. 22).

This was a snake found ran over on the mainland.  National Parks Service Photo

This was a snake found ran over on the mainland. National Parks Service Photo

The motorist said he was traveling town-bound on the Pali Highway near the entrance to the Nuuanu Reservoir at about 5 p.m. last Sunday when he ran over the five-foot long snake. He pulled over and picked up the dead snake and took it to a relative’s home. The motorist called HDOA Monday afternoon and Plant Quarantine inspectors picked up the snake, which was later identified as a boa constrictor.

After picking up the dead snake within an hour after it was reported, several inspectors went directly to the area where it was found but did not find evidence of any other snakes.

“Any snake found in the wild in Hawaii is of serious concern,” said Russell S. Kokubun, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “Boa constrictors may grow up to 12 feet, which is particularly troubling for nearby residents and for the environment.”

Snakes are illegal to possess and transport to Hawaii and HDOA urges those who spot illegal animals or who know of persons possessing illegal animals to call the state’s PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST(7378).  Snakes and large lizards have no natural predators in Hawaii and pose a serious threat to Hawaii’s environment because they compete with native animal populations for food and habitat. Many species also prey on birds and their eggs, increasing the threat to our endangered native birds. Large snakes may also kill pets and even humans.

The state’s Amnesty Program allows illegal animals to be turned in and provides immunity from prosecution. Illegal animals may be turned in to any HDOA Office, Honolulu Zoo, Panaewa Zoo in Hilo or any Humane Society — no questions asked and no fines assessed. Animals turned in under amnesty will not be euthanized. The maximum penalty under state law for possessing and/or transporting illegal animals, a class C felony, is a $200,000 fine and up to three years in prison.

Will Work For Food – Laid Off Government Worker

With the Federal Government now shut down…. I wonder how many Federal workers will be filing for unemployment tomorrow?

The sad thing about unemployment… is you don’t get paid for the first week you are on it as that is called a “waiting period”.  During this waiting period… folks are required to fill out all sorts of paperwork, attend a class, look for at least three jobs…. etc.

Well crap by the end of the one week waiting period… my guess is we will be back to work.

The dilemma? Do I go down there and spend half a day just waiting in lines and then spend 20 + hours of my time this week doing mandated unemployment stuff just to possibly get called back to work the next week or possibly even the next day?

Well I think I’ll hold off for a while and hopefully I will get back to work soon enough.  The sad thing for me… is both my wife and I are now effectively laid off!

Feel free to hit that PayPal button on the top right of my site!

Kona Health Center to Re-Open October 7th

Planned Parenthood of Hawaii will re-open the Kona Health Center on October 7, 2013 with an open house at 11:00 a.m. and a blessing at noon at the Center’s location at 75-184 Hualalai Road, Suite 205. The Kona Health Center will begin serving patients that afternoon.

Kona Health Center

“We celebrate the re-opening of the Kona Health Center because it means that more people living on the island of Hawaii will have access to a trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a community partner,” noted Andrea Anderson, Planned Parenthood of Hawaii CEO, “The reopening is also a testament to Planned Parenthood of Hawaii’s triumph in the face of adversity and the culmination of months of hard work and dedication to providing Hawaii’s people with the quality health care for which Planned Parenthood is known.”

The Kona Health Center will be open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will offer the following services: well-woman exams, including Pap smears, pelvic and breast exams; HPV testing; low or no cost birth control, including pills, shots, patches, rings, Mirena, Paragard, Nexplanon, diaphragm, sponges, condoms, emergency contraception; abnormal Pap follow-up, including colposcopy and LEEP; pregnancy testing; options counseling; ultrasound; screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections in women and men; Rapid HIV testing; testing and treatment for vaginal and urinary tract infections; first trimester surgical and medication abortion services; referrals for mammograms and bone density testing; teen counseling/education; Human Papilloma Virus (“HPV”) vaccinations; menopause services; and transgender services. The Center has family planning services available on a sliding fee scale and accepts most insurance plans.

Big Island Police Arrest Two After Assault in Downtown Hilo

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged two men with various offenses stemming from an incident early Saturday morning (September 28) in Hilo.

At 3:27 a.m. Saturday, police responded to a report of a 19-year-old Hilo man who had allegedly been assaulted in front of a closed business establishment on the 1700 block of Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo.

Witnesses informed police that two men apparently were involved. One suspect allegedly punched the victim while the second removed his cell phone.

The victim reported being assaulted a second time after he tracked down his cell phone to a home in Hilo. One of the suspects allegedly damaged the victim’s vehicle following the assault.

Upon receiving the report, police were able to track the phone to a location off of Kalanianaole Avenue in Hilo. They recovered the cell phone and located both suspects, who were arrested at 4 a.m. and taken to the Hilo police cellblock.

The victim sustained minor injuries and declined treatment.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

Dustin C. M. Snedeker-Abadilla

Dustin C. M. Snedeker-Abadilla

After conferring with prosecutors, detectives charged 22-year-old Dustin C. M. Snedeker-Abadilla of Pāhoa with second-degree robbery, first-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle, fourth-degree criminal property damage and third-degree assault. His bail was set at $4,750.

 Jacob Anthony Blanco

Jacob Anthony Blanco

Detectives charged 18-year-old Jacob Anthony Blanco of Hilo with second-degree robbery and third-degree theft. His bail was set at $11,000.

Both men were scheduled to make their initial court appearances Monday afternoon (September 30).

Shots Fired – Mountain View Man Arrested

Hawaiʻi Island detectives are investigating an incident involving the discharge of a firearm in the Mountain View area Sunday afternoon (September 29).
HPDBadgeAt 12:04 p.m. Sunday, police responded to a report that a 64-year-old Mountain View man had allegedly discharged a firearm in a residential area off Kukui Camp Road and threatened a nearby resident.

Responding officers located and arrested Falaniko N. Himphill of Mountain View. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

The case is classified as a second-degree reckless endangering and a first-degree terroristic threatening.

Hawaiʻi Island detectives have charged the man arrested in connection with the discharge of a firearm in the Mountain View area Sunday afternoon (September 29).

At 1:55 p.m. Monday (September 30), detectives charged Falaniko N. Himphill of Mountain View with first-degree terroristic threatening, second-degree reckless endangering and ownership prohibited.

He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock in lieu of $21,000 bail pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Tuesday (October 1).

Hawaii Signs Onto Majuro Declaration as U.S. Climate Leader

The State of Hawaii is the first sub-national government to sign onto the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership, presented Friday by the Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum to the United Nations Secretary General. The Aloha State joins other leaders from around the world in making commitments to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Ronald Jean Jumeau became ambassador of the Seychelles to the United States on September 6, 2007. He also served as the Permanent Representative of the Seychelles to the United Nations.

Ronald Jean Jumeau became ambassador of the Seychelles to the United States on September 6, 2007. He also served as the Permanent Representative of the Seychelles to the United Nations.

“The State of Hawaii stands with other islands around the world in recognizing the urgent threat of climate change to our sustainability,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “We have signed onto the Majuro Declaration to share our ambitious commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through innovative energy transformation. We also understand the need to prepare for climate change adaptation through an integrated approach to building a green, resilient economy.”

Hawaii Green Growth Poster

The United States committed to the declaration by submitting President Barack Obama’s new Climate Action Plan as a broad set of additional actions announced in June 2013 to enhance efforts in furtherance of its emissions reduction target. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said: “The U.S. is deeply committed to leading on climate change. We will work with our partners around the world through ambitious actions to reduce emissions, transform our energy economy, and help the most vulnerable cope with the effects of climate change.”

Hawaii’s commitments to climate change mitigation are focused on actions related to the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, which is a joint effort by the U.S. Department of Energy and the State of Hawaii to achieve 70 percent clean energy (40 percent through renewables and 30 percent through efficiency) by 2030 – one of the most ambitious energy goals in the nation. Additionally, Hawaii has committed to reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions to levels at or below estimates for 1990. Hawaii is the only state in the nation to adopt both a climate change mitigation policy and climate change adaptation policy, which recognize the role of public-private partnerships in achieving goals.

Green Growth Welcome

On Sept. 5, the Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum adopted the Majuro Declaration in response to scientific evidence that escalating emissions of greenhouse gases are causing global warming and Pacific Islands are on the front lines of the impacts. The declaration notes that on May 9, 2013, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide measured near the summit of Mauna Loa in Hawaii exceeded 400 parts per million for the first time since measurements began. The declaration states, “In crossing this historic threshold, the world entered a new danger zone.”

Since then, on Sept. 27, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, appointed by the United Nations, released a 2000-page report that stated, “it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause” of global warming since 1950. For the first time, the panel formally endorsed the limit of emissions.

Abercrombie Behind Doors

Earlier this month, Minister Tony de Brum of the Marshall Islands invited Gov. Abercrombie to join other Pacific islands in this effort at the Governor’s reception for Seychelles Ambassador Ronald Jumeau during the 2013 Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit in Honolulu.

“We very much welcome the commitment of the State of Hawaii to be a Climate Leader by signing our Majuro Declaration,” Minister de Brum said. “Hawaii is the first sub-national government to come on board, and will help create the upward spiral of ambition the world so desperately needs. As an island state with ambitious green targets, Hawaii knows the threat posed by climate change. It is time now for all of us to turn our words into action, and to ensure others follow quickly in our footsteps.”

USS Chung-Hoon to Return to Hawaii Homeport Tomorrow

A couple of years ago I got to go out to sea with USS Chung-Hoon and I’m proud that they are returning to its homeport here in Hawaii:

Participating in the 2010 RIMPAC Exercises

Participating in the 2010 RIMPAC Exercises

The destroyer Chung-Hoon returns to its Hawaii homeport Tuesday after a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific.

The nearly 280 sailors on board participated in joint exercises with the Vietnamese, Japanese and Australian navies before heading home to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

Photo from when I went to sea on the USS Chung-Hoon

Photo from when I went to sea on the USS Chung-Hoon

“We operated forward and worked with our foreign partners in various multi-national exercises improving warfighter skills across a broad range of mission sets and further strengthening our bonds,” said Cmdr. Justin Orlich, the ship’s commanding officer. “Chung-Hoon sailors have accomplished a great deal this deployment and have much to be proud of in service to our nation.”

Photo from when I went to sea on the USS Chung-Hoon

Photo from when I went to sea on the USS Chung-Hoon

Sailors participated in training and exchanges in search and rescue, medical, diving medicine, navigation and shipboard firefighting in April as part of the fourth annual Naval Engagement Activity with the Vietnam People’s Navy in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Gajeezus they let me hold one!

Gajeezus they let me hold one!

Over the summer, Chung-Hoon conducted multi-warfare exercises with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and Royal Australian Navy in Pacific Bond 2013 and with the Royal Australian Navy in Talisman Saber 2013.

Checking things out

Checking things out

“Chung Hoon performed marvelously throughout their deployment,” said Capt. Wallace Lovely, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 31. “This team answered the call for mission support on time, every time.”

The Commanding Officer gave me this coin after we had lunch on the USS Chung Hoon

The Commanding Officer gave me this coin after we had lunch on the USS Chung Hoon

The Chung-Hoon is named after the late World War II hero, Rear Adm. Gordon Paiea Chung-Hoon. He’s a Hawaaian native and a Navy Cross and Silver Star recipient for actions as commander of the destroyer Sigsbee from May 1944 to October 1945.

3.2 Magnitude Earthquake Registered Off Kohala Coast

A 3.2 Magnitude earthquake was just registered off the Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii:

32 Kalaoa

3.6 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area of Big Island

We just had a 3.6 magnitude earthquake in the Volcano area of the Big Island.

36 VolcanoThere is still some minor trembling going on that is creating some seismic activity.

26-Year-Old Kona Man Dies in Vehicle-Pedestrian Collision

A 26-year-old Kailua-Kona man died Sunday morning (September 29) in a vehicle–pedestrian collision.


HPDBadgeAbout 2:53 a.m., a 2004 Mercedes-Benz was traveling south on Highway 11 near the junction with Puʻuloa Road in Kailua-Kona when it ran over a man who was lying across the southbound lane. The man, Richard Penrose of Kailua-Kona, died at the scene. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The driver, 39-year-old Christian S. Yamagata of Kealakekua, was not injured. He was arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide and operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and release pending further investigation.

Police ask that anyone who witnessed the collision call Officer Thomas Koyanagi at 326-4646, extension 229.

This is the 23rd fatality this year compared with 30 at this time last year.

E Mau Ana Ka Hula, The Hula is Perpetuated – A Tribute to King David Kalakaua

“Hula is the Language of the heart and therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian People” King David Kalākaua.

Kalakaua Fest

On this special occasion, we pay tribute to the “Merrie Monarch” King David Kalākaua, with a celebration of hula held at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay. Kumu Hula and students from across the Hawaiian Islands, Japan, and Europe will present their art of style and tradition of hula with either hula kahiko (ancient) or hula auana (modern) styles of dance. Each school will showcase the best integrity and quality of traditional hula steps, expressions, creativity, and adornments with costumes and stories that support the hula traditions.

Local arts and crafts vendors will be featuring quality handmade Hawaiian items, and ono food will be available too! Admission is free, so bring the family and join us to share in the joy of hula!

On Friday and Saturday, November 15&16, hula workshops will be held featuring several of the presenting Kumu Hula. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Festival information and registration for workshops is available online at

28th Annual PATH 5K/10K Fun Run and Keiki Dash

PATH ~ Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii announces the 28th Annual PATH 5k/10k Fun Run and Keiki Dash on Sunday October 6 at 7:30 am at Hale Halawai Park on Ali’i Drive in Kona. This is a family friendly FUNdraiser benefiting the PATH Bike Education Program, which provides Hawaii Island 4th graders with in-school bicycle safety education and skills building exercises.


The 28th Annual PATH Run is one of Kona’s traditional kickoff events to IRONMAN week.

An entry form for the race is available at all Bike Works and Big Island Running Company stores. Online registration and an electronic copy of the entry form is available at under the Events tab.

Questions regarding the PATH Run can be directed to PATH 808-326-7284 or at


Big Island Police Charge Driver of Truck Involved in Fatal Vehicle-Bicycle Crash Friday

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged the driver of a pickup truck involved in a fatal vehicle-bicycle crash Friday (September 27) in Puna.

Siaku L. Aholelei

Siaku L. Aholelei

At 8:30 a.m. Sunday, police charged 27-year-old Siaku L. Aholelei of Mountain View with first-degree negligent homicide and first-degree manslaughter. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock in lieu of $275,000 bail pending his initial court hearing scheduled for Monday (September 30).

At 11:56 a.m. Friday, Aholelei was was traveling south at a high rate of speed on Highway 11 near the 8-mile marker in Keaʻau when he lost control, crossed the grassy median and struck a bicycle traveling north on the shoulder of the road.

The bicyclist, 66-year-old Cenon Tranquilino A. Visaya of Keaʻau, died at the scene.

Kohala Center Awarded $152,000 To Assist Island Farming Cooperatives

The Kohala Center, Inc., a community-based non-profit on Hawaii Island, has been awarded a $151,913 grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to assist several farming cooperatives on Hawaii Island and Maui. USDA announced the grant awards today under the Small Socially Disadvantaged Producers Grant program, which offers technical assistance to help producers develop new markets and grow their operations.

Click to view release

Click to view release

In its grant proposal, the Kohala Center states it will use the funds to provide technical assistance to  Palili `O Kohala Cooperative (Hawaii Island), Maui Aquaponics Cooperative (Maui), Kau Agricultural Water Cooperative (Hawaii Island) and Cho Global Natural Farming Cooperative (Hawaii Island).

“Rural cooperatives are in a position to employ special marketing strategies to increase the bottom line for their farmers but may not always have the experience to do so,” said Russell S. Kokubun, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “The Kohala Center has been a valuable resource for the agricultural community and this grant will expand its ability to strengthen these farming cooperatives, which the Abercrombie Administration recognizes as vital contributors to our economy and food-sustainability.”

Hawaii was one of 13 states that received funding under the Small Socially Disadvantaged Producers Grant. For more information on this grant, go to the USDA website:

Domino’s Pizza Golf Tournament for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Domino’s Pizza in Waimea is excited to announce their first annual benefit golf tournament for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The tournament takes place on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at Makalei Golf Club and will be played in a four-person net scramble format, with shotgun start at 8 a.m.

Dominoes St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

On the corporate level, Domino’s has supported the hospital since 2004, contributing over $16 million to help take care of keiki with cancer and other life-threatening diseases, at no charge to their families.  In January of this year, Domino’s “delivered” an entire Assessment and Triage Clinic to St. Jude’s, colorfully decorated with children’s art and murals, most incorporating a pizza theme.

The Waimea store is proud to be part of their company’s good work with this first annual golf tournament.  Entry fee is $125 per player, including green fees, cart, lunch, prizes and some surprises during the tournament.  To sign up, please stop by Domino’s Pizza in Waimea, or call Tournament Coordinator Charmaine Mood at 808-756-2743 by October 15.

Peace Day Parade & Festival Wrap Up

The peaceful town of Honoka‘a was filled with people celebrating the United Nations International Day of Peace on Saturday, September 21, during its 7th annual Peace Day Parade & Festival, “Peace in the Streets,” and other related events. Thousands of people gathered to enjoy the colorful “moving stage” of music, floats and entertainment with a message–as taiko drummers, bon dancers, cirque performers, rock and roll and kachikachi bands, hula hālau and more, joined together in the spirit of peace.

Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko from Kohala and Waimea. Photo by Sara Anderson

Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko from Kohala and Waimea. Photo by Sarah Anderson Photography

A Peace Day Festival following the Parade featured food booths and entertainment, begun with a ceremonial chant and bell-ringing by Rev. Kosho Yagi of Honoka‘a Hongwanji .  Music and entertainment was provided as a gift to the community by the Honoka‘a High School Jazz Band, Magician Bruce Meyers, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko, the Big Rock band, the Hiccup Circus and others,  and a large community Bon Dance that filled the field of the County Sports Complex.

Gerald DeMello of University of Hawai‘i read a proclamation from Governor Neil Abercrombie, in which he pledged continued support of “initiatives that inspire and further the advancement of peace throughout the State of Hawai‘i and the world.”

Gerald De Mello reads a proclamation from Gov. Abercrombie. Sarah Anderson Photography

Gerald De Mello reads a proclamation from Gov. Abercrombie. Sarah Anderson Photography

The proclamation also quoted the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King: “One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.”

Sasaki family honored

Special guests for the Parade & Festival were members of the Sasaki family from Japan, whose sister and aunt Sadako Sasaki inspired the book “Sadako and the Thousand Cranes.”

The Sasaki 'ohana in Honoka'a. Sarah Anderson Photography

The Sasaki ‘ohana in Honoka’a. Sarah Anderson Photography

Sadako was only a child when the bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Although she survived the blast, she later succumbed to radiation-caused leukemia, but not before working to reach her goal of 1,000 origami paper cranes, each enfolded with a wish for peace and healing.   Nephew Yuji Sasaki, a popular singer in Japan, performed his song “Inori” in her honor at the Festival.

One of Sadako's cranes will be part of a permanent exhibit at the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center. Others reside in New York at the Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center at Ground Zero, and in Vienna at the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution.  Sarah Anderson Photography

One of Sadako’s cranes will be part of a permanent exhibit at the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center. Others reside in New York at the Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center at Ground Zero, and in Vienna at the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution. Sarah Anderson Photography

Earlier on Saturday, the Sasaki’s donated one of Sadako’s original cranes to the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center for a permanent exhibit.  Two others have been given, to the Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center at Ground Zero in New York, and to the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Vienna.

“199,000 Cranes” project

The Peace Committee has taken on a year-long project to gather origami cranes and send as a “flock” to the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Museum in Sadako’s honor.

Peace Day Cranes

Peace Day Cranes

Featured on KITV news, the “199,000 Cranes” project aims to reach their goal by Hiroshima Day, August 6, 2014. To contribute cranes, please contact by email,

Run for Peace

Saturday’s events also included the third annual 5K “Run for Peace,” directed by Sue DeLaCruz of Hamakua Health Center.  All runners received a logo participation medal and awards were presented to finishers as follows:

  • Overall Male and 16-18 Division winner: Tony Connors, 19:05
  • Overall Female and 16-18 Division winner: Hildhang Adona, 24:58

Age Division Winners:

  • 0-9 Male: Kyle Ignacio, 37:17
  • 10-15 Male: Chaystin Peters, 25:12
  • 19-29 Female: Amber Green-Weiss, 32:43
  • 30-39 Female: Nani Maloof, 30:19
  • 40-49 Male: Thomas Martin, 36:12
  • 40-49 Female: Kendra Ignacio, 37:19
  • 50 and up Male: Patrick Donovan, 31:40
  • Masters Male: Don Choquette, 39:15

Cash Prize Division:

  • Male: Seanry Agbayani, 20:38
  • Female: Nani Maloof, 30:19

Peace Poster Contest

Also during Festival, winners of the annual student Peace Poster Contest were announced. Led by artist Jay West, poster entries were reviewed for focus on the theme, “Prepare for Peace,” purpose, layout and design, drawings, mechanics, creativity and neatness.

Posters displayed in Honoka'a. Sarah Anderson Photography

Posters displayed in Honoka’a. Sarah Anderson Photography

Winners are:


  • 1st. Miami Minahan, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
  • 2nd, Reina Moriguchi, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
  • 2nd (tie),  Ocean Yagi, Honokaa Elementary School
  • 3rd (3-way tie), Samantha Allen, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
  • 3rd, Kira Kumitake, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
  • 3rd, Kaitlin Mercado, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu

Grades 4-6

  • 1st, Lyla Gonsalves, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
  • 2nd, Brooke Peralta, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
  • 3rd, Leah Delos Sants, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu

Grades 7-9

  • 1st, Mae Lee Solomon, Honokaa Intermediate School
  • 2nd, Terri Conner Honokaa Intermediate School
  • 3rd, Quinlan Mata Bishop, Waiakea High School

Grades 10-12

  • 1st, Joanne Bell, Honokaa High School
  • 2nd, Zoey Chang, Waiakea High School
  • 3rd, Tyana Yamamoto, Honokaa High School

Sponsor prize, presented by Waianuhea Bed & Breakfast: 

  • Brandee Samio, HHS
  • Megan Kauni, HHS

“Peace in the Streets”

From noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, the Honoka‘a Business Association teamed up with the Peace Committee to produce the first-ever “Peace in the Streets” activity.

The Zoo Choo

The Zoo Choo

Musicians performed on four different mini-stages up and down Mamane Street; keiki enjoyed the inflatable Jump & Slide and Zoo Choo train rides and everyone had a chance to visit 21 participating businesses in town to win Scavenger Hunt prizes.

Winners were:  Oarlene Wingate -$100 cash prize, Clinton Branco, Alicia Togi-Branco, Stacey Emerson, Mitchell Echavez, Branalyn Juan, Kaylene Torres, Moses Decoite, Megan King, Karen Yagi, Gary Tomes Jr., Barbara J. Moran, Annie Pacana, Lee Watanabe, Debbie Filippai, Melanie Ebreo, Shyla Kailalani, Yoshie Yagi, Jordan Marlin, and Ocean Yagi.

Earlier in September, other peace-related activities included a rummage sale fundraiser for the Carteret Atolls relocation project, support of the “Aloha Peace” award presented to President Obama’s half-sister Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng, a “Day of Mindfulness” in Kalōpā State Park, reception and Peace Poster exhibit at C&J Woods and the Friends of the Library’s “Read for Peace.”  The Peace Committee is open to all and new members are always welcome.

The United Nations has celebrated Peace Day since 1981. In 2007, as a result of lobbying by the teen group, United Junior Young Buddhists Association, the Hawai‘i State legislature and Governor Linda Lingle passed a law establishing September 21 as Peace Day in Hawai‘i.  Hawai‘i is the first and only state in America to have a permanent Peace Day.

The 7th Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace was presented by the Peace Committee of the Honoka‘a Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in cooperation with the United Nations and numerous community organizations.  Major financial support has been provided by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i Social Concerns Committee, the Seymour Stern Memorial Trust and other generous sponsors.

Peace day 2013

The Peace Committee’s mission is to promote peace, compassion and the awareness of global interdependence by supporting activities year-round. It depends upon the community’s help and support for the continued success of the parade and festival annually.  Contributions can be made as tax deductible donations, purchases of t-shirts and various sponsorship packages.  Call 808-640-4602 or visit


Pahoa Rummage Sale to Benefit Sacred Heart Building Fund

Clothing, books, musical records and other entertainment as well as all variety of household goods will be offered at rock-bottom prices at this rummage sale to benefit the Sacred Heart Catholic Church’s building fund.

Pahoa Sacred Heart Church

The Pahoa sale will be held from 7:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 at the church’s Avery Hall where lots of free parking will be available. The church is located across the street from Pahoa Elementary School.

Food Basket of Hawaii Begins Annual Backpack Drive

The Food Basket, Hawai‘i Island’s food pantry, will begin its annual backpack program in October, to help provide school children with backpacks full of nutritious food on a regular basis.  A nationwide initiative that the state adopted five years ago, the program has served more than 450 children in two schools over the last two years.

Photo: Courtesy of The Food Basket

Photo: Courtesy of The Food Basket

“On the Big Island, we have five elementary schools with free and reduced lunch registrations over 90%,” said En Young, The Food Basket (TFB) Executive Director. “The school with the highest utilization is at 97%.”  Part of the National School Lunch Program that provides meals to children on school days, the Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program requires registration, and can therefore help measure food needs of a particular school and community.

“Free and reduced lunch kids tend to get their most nutritious meal at school, so we stuff a backpack full of canned food, beverages and snacks for them to take home—especially over long weekends.  We try to do this at least once a month, and every other week before summer,” said Young.

Young said that this year, with support from the Food Bank, Hawai‘i island United Way and a very generous private grant, TFB will be able to expand the backpack program to three schools and more than 1,100 keiki in the Puna and South Kona Districts. Every child in the school may receive a backpack, without being labeled as needy. “We qualify the school rather than the individual,” said Young.

According to TFB website:

  • Not having enough food to sustain a healthy life is a reality for 1 in 8 Americans.  This includes children and seniors.
  • The lack of proper nutrition affects the cognitive and behavioral development of children.
  • According to the United States Department of Agriculture, limited resources prevent more than 36 million Americans from getting enough food.

In Hawai‘i specifically:

  • 32% of those served by TFB have had to choose between food and rent or mortgage bills, 27% between food and medicine or medical needs.
  • Among households with children, 67% are food insecure, including 31% who are experiencing hunger.
  • 11 % of adults served are elderly (65 or older).
  • 25% of households served had one or more children under age 18; and 6% of households served had one or more children age 5 or under.
  • 63% of client households have a monthly income below $1,000

“It’s important for us to help the public become more aware of what we do,” said Young.
For us, we want people to know that the need is there, and even if we can’t serve everybody, The Food Basket can make a difference, and help feed hungry kids.”

The Food Basket is an island-wide, supplemental food network that, in partnership with numerous community organizations, collects and distributes nutritious, high-quality food to low-income households, the working poor, senior citizens, children, people who are disabled or ill, and other members of the Big Island’s most vulnerable populations. Programs include regularly scheduled soup kitchens and food pantries in East and West Hawaii. For more information, or to make a donation, please visit or call 808-933-6060.


“Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau” Premieres October 1st on ESPN

Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau chronicles the remarkable life and times of the late Eddie Aikau, the legendary Hawaiian big wave surfer, pioneering lifeguard and ultimately doomed crew member of the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokulea.

Legend of Eddie Aikau

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DLNR Proposes to Restore and Manage Watershed in Pu’u Maka’ala Natural Area Reserve

Yesterday the Board of Land and Natural Resources approved a management plan for Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve. The Land Board also approved Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) issuance of a finding of no significant impact for the final environmental assessment for the plan.

Puu Makaala Forest Trail

Puu Makaala Forest Trail

“This management plan is part of the DLNR’s goal to increase protection of Hawaii’s forested watersheds, and to protect and restore rare native Hawaiian animals and plants such as the ‘I‘iwi, the Mauna Loa Silversword and the ‘Alalâ,” said William J. Aila, Jr., BLNR Chairperson.

The 18,706 acre reserve, on the east side of the island of Hawai‘i, was established in 1981 to protect native wet koa and ‘ohi‘a forests and habitat for rare species of plants and animals. Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve (NAR) is managed by the DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), and the overall management goal is to protect, maintain, and enhance the reserve’s unique natural, cultural, and geological resources.

The plan outlines specific actions needed to protect and enhance native Hawaiian ecosystems in the reserve including management of invasive species and restoration of rare and endangered plants and animals. Public access is allowed in the reserve and the management plan includes the enhancement of public access through trail improvements. New interpretive hiking opportunities will provide opportunities for the public to learn more about the reserve, its unique native species and ecosystems and ongoing management activities.

The plan discusses collaborating closely with partners, including Kûlani Correctional Facility, to achieve management goals. The Department of Public Safety is planning on reopening Kûlani in 2014.

“Before Kulani closed in 2009, inmate conservation worklines helped DLNR work to remove many invasive plant species, restoring parts of the reserve to its natural beauty,” said Department of Public Safety Director Ted Sakai. “This collaboration resulted in substantial cost-savings for the state and, in turn, gave inmates valuable education and work training opportunities. We are pleased to once again partner with the DLNR and reestablish these successful community service programs.”

The reserve is part of the state’s Natural Area Reserves System, created in 1971 by the Hawai‘i State Legislature to preserve and protect areas which support communities of the natural flora and fauna, as well as geological sites, both for the enjoyment of future generations and to provide baselines against which changes to Hawaii’s environment can be measured. The Natural Area Reserve System protects the best remaining ecosystems in the state, and actively manages them to preserve the natural heritage of Hawai‘i.

The Natural Area Reserve System presently consists of 20 reserves on five islands, encompassing more than 123,000 acres of the state’s most unique ecosystems. These diverse areas range from marine and coastal environments to alpine desert, and from fresh lava flows to wet forests and serve as habitat for rare native plants and animals, many of which are on the verge of extinction. The Natural Area Reserve System includes important watersheds and also contributes to the natural scenic beauty of Hawai‘i.

Fifteen species of federally listed endangered plants occur in or near Pu‘u Maka‘ala NAR, and DOFAW is planning to use the reserve as a key recovery site for these species. Pu‘u Maka‘ala is also home to endangered forest birds, the Nene and ‘Io. This area may also be considered as a potential future release site for captive-raised Hawaiian crow, or ‘Alalâ.

Click here for The management plan and final environmental assessment

For more information about the project contact Lisa Hadway, Division of Forestry and Wildlife Hawai‘i Branch Manager at (808) 974-4221.