World’s Stinkiest Flower Begins to Bloom on the Big Island of Hawaii – Corpse Flower Attracting Flies

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation invites the public to the Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens to witness a “corpse plant” that has started its rare blooming phase.

The Corpse Plant blooms at the Panaewa Zoo.

The Corpse Plant blooms at the Panaewa Zoo.

When in full bloom, the giant rainforest plant amorphophallus titanum releases sulfur that smells like rotting corpses to attract pollinating insects. That’s why it’s known as the “corpse plant.”

Full bloom is expected to occur at the zoo on Friday, September 6, and last 48 hours. Blooming frequency varies greatly, often taking place only once every decade.

The Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens has two corpse plants that artist Hiroshi Tagami donated in 2002. One of the plants bloomed in 2011, attracting large crowds of curious onlookers. The other, “Stinky 2,” is growing in the exhibit located next to the zoo’s feral pig and across from the large mixed-parrot aviary.

Located off of Stainback Highway about five miles south of Hilo, the 12-acre Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens is the only natural tropical rainforest zoo in the United States. More than 100 palm varieties and 80 animal species, including Nēnē geese and Namasté, a white Bengal tiger, can be found at the zoo. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free.

For more information, please call 959-7224 or email panaewazoo@co.hawaii.hi.us.

 

Damien Memorial’s $1.5 Million Grant Violates Hawaii State Constitution

A few days ago I posted about Damien Memorial fudging on the their grant application and swindling the State out of $1.5 Million Dollars.

Well it turns out that someone in our legislature is listening and asked Deputy Attorney General Randall S. Nishiyama if the grant of $1.5 million made by the 2014 Legislature for Damien Memorial School for campus renovations was constitutional. (See Act 134, Sessions Law of Hawaii 2013, Part IV, Section 39, item no. B. 16.)

Attorney General Nishiyama answer was “Negative”.

“Damien Memorial School is a private sectarian educational institution.  Article X, Section 1, of the Hawaii State Constitution, prohibits public funds from being appropriated for the support or benefit of any sectarian or nonsectarian private educational institution. Consequently this grant violates article X, Section 1, of the Hawaii State Constitution.”

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Arianna Huffington and Pierre Omidyar Roll Out HuffPost Hawaii – Visit the Big Island

Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington and eBay Founder Pierre Omidyar (also founder of Civil Beat) are on the Big Island right now and just finished a luncheon with business and community leaders at the Imiloa Astronomy Center.

eBay Founder Pierre Omidyar and Huffington Post Founder Arianna Huffington are greeted at the Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo, Hawaii.

eBay Founder Pierre Omidyar and Huffington Post Founder Arianna Huffington are greeted at the Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo, Hawaii.

They were here to announce their new start-up “HuffPost Hawaii“.

Huffington states:

Aloha! I’m here for the launch of our newest edition, HuffPost Hawaii. We are delighted to be partnering with Honolulu Civil Beat, a beacon of journalism in Hawaii focusing on public affairs and investigative reporting, with deep roots in the local culture. In its three years, Civil Beat has committed itself to the mission of its founder, Pierre Omidyar — who also founded eBay — and has created a “a vibrant civic square.”

They arrived a little after 12:00 this afternoon and then were ushered into a private room where Huffington and Omidyar held a conference call with some folks on the mainland and talked about their trip so far.

They were very relaxed and only a few of us were allowed in the room

They were very relaxed and only a few of us were allowed in the room

Once the livestream began, we all had to be completely quiet in the room as the microphones were very sensitive.

I had never heard Arianna speak before and then all of a sudden she had this accent that I couldn't even tell where it was from!

I had never heard Arianna speak before and then all of a sudden she started speaking and she had this accent that I couldn’t even tell where it was from!

Here is a link to the Livestream that was posted on HuffingtonPost Live earlier today (folks in attendance did not even see this): Aloha, HuffPost Hawaii

After the Livestream, Arianna and Pierre got a short tour of the Imiloa Astronomy Center where they learned about what was going on at the place.

Touring the Imiloa Astronomy Center

Touring the Imiloa Astronomy Center

After the tour of the center, they moved into a ballroom where folks from the community were invited to a luncheon hosted by the two.

Honolulu Civil Beat Engagement Editor Gene Park (center on phone) hard at work.

Honolulu Civil Beat Engagement Editor Gene Park (center on phone) hard at work.

After the lunch, Arianna and Pierre talked to audience members about their new upstart and why they started it.  They also invited folks to contact the HuffPost Hawaii if they would like to blog for them.

Arianna and Pierre talk to community members.

Arianna and Pierre talk to community members.

After their short introduction and talk… they took time to mingle with community members.

Pierre and some blogger dude!

Pierre and some blogger dude!

Arianna and that same blogger dude!

Arianna and that same blogger dude!

Arianna writes:

…By bringing together Civil Beat’s local journalism expertise with the Huffington Post’s global platform, HuffPost Hawaii will be a powerful forum for storytelling and the exchange of ideas, a place to celebrate Hawaii’s way of life and to put the spotlight on what needs improving. It has been such a pleasure working with Pierre Omidyar, as well as Civil Beat’s general manager Jayson Harper and of course Civil Beat’s editor Patti Epler, who I’m thrilled will be HuffPost Hawaii’s editor-in-chief. Our team at HuffPost Hawaii will also include associate editors Gabriela Aoun and Chloe Fox, and social media editors Gene Park and Carla Herreria…

More here on Arianna’s opening post for the HuffPost Hawaii: Aloha! Introducing HuffPost Hawaii.

Hawaii Island Police Looking for Woman Who May Be Armed and is Considered Dangerous

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a reported threat and are asking for the public’s help in locating one of the suspects.

On Wednesday (September 4) at about 2:30 p.m., police received a report that a 31-year-old Hilo woman had been accosted by a 40-year-old Hilo man while at an apartment complex on Pamala Street in Hilo on Tuesday night. The man allegedly threatened her with an edged instrument. A 32-year-old Hilo woman also reportedly pointed a firearm at her.

Both suspects reportedly left the area in separate vehicles.

The victim was uninjured in the incident.

At 8:10 p.m. Wednesday, police located 40-year-old Stacey Kaheaokalani Veincent of Hilo and arrested him on suspicion of first-degree terroristic threatening. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

Tianajade Kalae Mathieu

Tianajade Kalae Mathieu

Police are looking for Tianajade Kalae Mathieu, who is described as a local woman, 5-foot-11, about 220 pounds with wavy black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen operating a black 2001 Mercury Cougar two-door sedan bearing license plate HLF 409.

Police advise the public to call police if they see Mathieu and not to approach her or the car, as she may be armed and is considered dangerous. Police ask that anyone with information on this case or who knows Mathieu’s whereabouts contact Detective Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or nserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective Robert Almeida at 961-2386 or ralmeida@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.

Puna Man Arrested After Threatening Two Police Officers

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged a 40-year-old Puna man with terroristic threatening for pointing what looked like a rifle at two police officers Tuesday morning while they were investigating a domestic dispute between the man and his adult son.

Jonathan P. Rodrigues Sr.

Jonathan P. Rodrigues Sr.

Jonathan P. Rodrigues Sr. of Mountain View was charged on Wednesday with two counts of first-degree terroristic threatening. His bail was set at $20,000.

Rodrigues, who was also arrested Tuesday on suspicion of second-degree assault for the affray with his son, was released on that offense pending further investigation.

 

Update on the Hale Nani Correctional Center Escapees

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating two inmates who escaped from a correctional facility Wednesday night (September 4).

At about 11:10 p. m. Wednesday, police received a report from personnel at Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center’s Hale Nani location off Route 11 in Hilo that during their routine checks, two inmates were unaccounted for.

Andrew Wanat

Andrew Wanat

The first inmate, 27-year-old Andrew Marshall Wanat, who has no permanent address, is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-11, 210 pounds with brown eyes and short hair or a shaved head. He has tattoos on both inner forearms and on his entire outer left arm.

Robert Garcia

Robert Garcia

The second inmate, 23-year-old Robert Carlos Garcia, who also has no permanent address, is described as African-American, 5-foot-7, about 130 pounds with short black hair and brown eyes. He often wears a goatee and mustache, and he has tattoos on his right forearm and the left side of his neck.

Both Wanat and Garcia were in custody for probation violations. They are known to frequent the Kona area and are not considered dangerous.

They were last seen wearing white shirts with “HCCC” printed on the back.

Police ask anyone with information on this case or who may know the whereabouts of either man to contact Detective Clarence Davies at 961-2384 or cdavies@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective Joel Field at 961-2381 or jfield@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.

Chinese Navy Ships to Visit Hawaii

Three People’s Liberation Army-Navy [PLA(N)] ships will stop at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam as part of a routine port visit Sept. 6-9.

In this U.S. Navy file photo, sailors aboard the Chinese People's Liberation Army-Navy destroyer Qingdao (DDG 113) wave as the ship departs Pearl Harbor following a routine port visit in September 2006.

In this U.S. Navy file photo, sailors aboard the Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy destroyer Qingdao (DDG 113) wave as the ship departs Pearl Harbor following a routine port visit in September 2006.

The ships visiting Hawaii are Qingdao (DDG 118), a Luhu -class destroyer; Linyi (FFG 547), a Jiangkai-class frigate; and Hongzehu (AOR 881), a Fuqing-class fleet oiler. Foreign navy ships come to Pearl Harbor-Hickam regularly for scheduled port visits. Other ships that have come to Hawaii this year include the British destroyer Daring, Australian frigate Perth, and Japanese ships Shimokita, Atago, and Hyuga.

As part of a planned series of military-to-military exchanges between the two nations, Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, visited China this past May in conjunction with a port visit by USS Shiloh (CG 67) at Zhanjiang, China. During this reciprocal port visit to Pearl Harbor-Hickam, the Chinese ships will be hosted by USS Lake Erie (CG 70). Over the weekend, Chinese and U.S. leaders will conduct dialogues to build confidence and mutual understanding between the two nations. This routine port visit will give Chinese sailors an opportunity to interact with their U.S. counterparts.

The capstone of the port visit will be a one-day search-and-rescue (SAR) drill on Monday, Sept. 9 that will highlight the ability of the two nations to cooperate and communicate at sea.

The last port visit by PLA(N) ships to Pearl Harbor-Hickam was in September 2006 by the Qingdao and Hongzehu. This port visit is part of the U.S. Navy’s ongoing effort to maximize opportunities for developing relationships with foreign navies as a tool to build trust, encourage multilateral cooperation, enhance transparency, and avoid miscalculation in the Pacific.

Hawaii Island Police Searching for Two Escapees From Hale Nani Correctional Center

Two people have escaped from Hale Nani Correctional Center on the Big Island.

Andrew Wanat

Andrew Wanat

Andrew Wanat, male 27, and Robert Garcia, Male 23, were last accounted for at yesterday at 6 pm.

Robert Garcia

Robert Garcia