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Commentary – New Daniel K. Inouye Highway is Huge Improvement

The newly christened Daniel K. Inouye Highway is huge improvement over the old Saddle Road. 40.27 miles out of 45.97 miles has been upgraded to Federal Highway standards. The remaining 5.7 miles, which is located above Hilo, is on hold.

Photo by Aaron Stene

Photo by Aaron Stene

The acquisition of the right of way is stalled and there isn’t any funding allocated for this phase.  Both of  these facets go hand and hand. This project can’t be funded unless the right of way is fully acquired.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation asked the Land Transportation Division of the State Attorney General’s Office to start condemnation proceedings against the three holdout landowners in 2012. The State Attorney General’s office hasn’t heeded the HDOT’s request except to ask for more information in July 2013.

I’m deeply frustrated by the lack of urgency in this matter.  The last Daniel K. Inouye Highway phase should on a fast track, but its stuck in bureaucratic hell instead. The Hawaii Department of Transportation needs to expedite the land acquisition, so this much-needed project can proceed and Senator Inouye’s vision fulfilled.

Aaron Stene

Search Continues for Missing Surfer Kirk Passmore

The search continues Thursday for a missing surfer near Alligator Rock, south of Waimea Bay.

Kirk Passmore's Facebook Profile Picture

Kirk Passmore’s Facebook Profile Picture

The surfer, Kirk Passmore of Haleiwa, was last seen Wednesday. Passmore’s surfboard was located onshore.

MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews from Air Station Barber’s Point and the Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island searched through the night Wednesday. A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Honolulu joined the search Thursday. Galveston Island will search through Thursday night.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center were notified of the missing man Wednesday by the Honolulu Fire Department and Ocean Safety.

The Honolulu Fire Department and Ocean Safety are also searching with air, land and ocean assets. They will suspend their search at sundown and resume searching at first light.

– See more at: http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/1963054/UPDATE-Search-continues-for-missing-surfer-on-North-Shore#sthash.QBz072Ld.dpuf


Search Continues for Passenger that Jumped Off Cruise Ship

The search continues for a passenger reported overboard from a cruise ship approximately 750 miles northeast of Hilo Wednesday.

Flickr Photo

Flickr Photo

The total search area currently covers approximately 7,000 square miles.

Two Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crews searched an area of approximately 3,000 square miles.

A Navy P-3 Orion airplane crew from Navy Patrol Squadron FOUR based at Marine Corps Base Kaneohe also joined the search Thursday and has covered approximately 4,300 square miles. As part of the AMVER program, the commercial tug and barge Moku Pahu has searched approximately 127 square miles. The Grand Princess also continues to search.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center were notified at approximately 1 p.m. Wednesday by the crew of the Grand Princess that an American female was overboard. The initial report stated the passenger was 30 years old, but recent information indicates she is 54 years old.

The passenger was last seen at approximately 12 p.m. Wednesday.

AMVER, sponsored by the United States Coast Guard, is a unique, computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. With Amver, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.

For more information, contact the 14th Coast Guard District public affairs office at (808) 535-3230.

One of Hawaii’s Most Wanted from November Show Has Been Located

Hawaiʻi Island police have located 22-year-old Airiel Rhodes Jost, who was wanted on bench warrants for violating terms and conditions of his probation.

Airiel Jost

Airiel Jost

He was arrested Thursday (November 14) in Kalapana. Police thank the public for their assistance.

Pahoa Man and Woman Arrested in Connection with Puna Burglary

A Pāhoa man and woman have been arrested in connection with a burglary Tuesday (November 12) in Puna.

The pair is accused of entering a house on Ono Street in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision shortly before noon Tuesday and removing the entry door and an air conditioning unit. The items were valued at $468.

Nicole Kruse

Nicole Kruse

About an hour later, police arrested 19-year-old Nicole Kruse and 34-year-old Micah Lopez in Pāhoa. They were taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

Micah Lopez

Micah Lopez

At 8:30 a.m. Thursday (November 14), detectives charged Kruse with first-degree burglary and second-degree theft. Her bail was set at $7,000, and she was scheduled to appear in court Thursday afternoon.

At 9:45 a.m. Thursday, Lopez was charged with first-degree burglary and second-degree theft with bail set at $35,000. He was also charged with violating parole. His court appearance is scheduled for Friday.

Hulihee Palace Lists 2014 Schedule – Details November Event

Enjoy a free Afternoon at Hulihe’e Palace 4-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17 to remember the late King Kalakaua. Presenting the Hulihe‘e Palace Band, hula and serenade by the Merrie Monarchs, the event is part of a year-long series that honors Hawai‘i’s past monarchs and historical figures; donations are appreciated. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

Hulihe'e Palace

Hulihe’e Palace

The brother of Queen Lili‘uokalani, Kalakaua became king by election, rather than birthright, in 1874. He was from a long line of chiefs from the Big Island; his queen was Kapiolani.

“During Kalakaua’s reign, music thrived due to royal patronage,” says Casey Ballao, docent coordinator. “He loved the performing arts, especially music.”

The king played the piano and composed chants and mele (songs) in both Hawaiian and English. Nicknamed the “Merrie Monarch,” Kalakaua also embraced Western music and promoted the playing of the ‘ukulele. He composed the words to the kingdom’s national anthem, “Hawai‘i Pono‘i,” which was set to music by his Royal Hawaiian Band.

“Kalakaua was a Renaissance man for Hawaiian arts,” adds Ballao. “Kalakaua felt the political survival of his kingdom depended upon the cultural revitalization of the Hawaiian people. He included mele oli (chant) and hula in the king’s 1883 coronation and 1886 jubilee.

“The king enjoyed visiting Kona, bought Hulihe‘e Palace and remodeled it,” explains Ballao. “He stuccoed the exterior, plastered the interior and enlarged the ocean lanai. The home took on a Victorian air with crown and gold leaf picture moldings and crystal chandeliers. Ever the Merrie Monarch, Kalakaua furnished Hulihe‘e with the finery needed for entertaining: china, glassware, satin cushions, rugs and paintings.”

Kalakaua visited Washington, D.C. and brought about a reciprocity treaty of duty-free commerce with the U.S. He also sailed around the world in 1881 to promote Hawai‘i’s sugar industry. During this period, different countries attempted to take control of several Pacific islands. A group of foreigners, with the help of a military unit, forced the king to sign the Bayonet Constitution in 1887, taking away most of his power. Kalakaua died in 1891 on a trip to San Francisco and Lili‘uokalani, his regent, became queen.

Hula Dancers dance behind Hulihe'e Palace. (Photo Fern Gavalek)

Hula Dancers dance behind Hulihe’e Palace. (Photo Fern Gavalek)

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for docent-guided and self-guided tours. Museum hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; with the exception of the palace open 1-4 p.m. the Monday following the monthly Kokua Kailua Village stroll.  Palace admission for a self-guided tour is $8 for adults, $6 for kama‘aina, military and seniors, and $1 for keiki 18 years and under. Docent-guided tours are available upon request. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop, open 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

The date for the final Afternoon at Hulihe‘e in 2013 is Sunday, December 15.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins. The Daughters was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

2014 Afternoon at Hulihe‘e schedule: 4-5 p.m. on the palace grounds

All Afternoons at Hulihe’e present hula by Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i Hula Halau and vocals by the Merrie Monarchs. Some events also include the Hulihe’e Palace Band and are noted below. On band dates, only kahiko hula is showcased. Other events offer a full hula show. 

  • Jan 19: Band appearance remembering King Charles “Lunalilo” and Aunty I‘olani Luahine
  • Feb 16: Event remembering Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani
  • Mar 16: Band appearance remembering Queen Ka‘ahumanu and Prince Kuhio
  • Apr 13: Event remembering Prince Edward Albert
  • May 18: Event remembering King Kamehameha IV “Alexander Liholiho”
  • Jun 8: Band appearance remembering King Kamehameha I “Paiea”
  • Jul 20: Event remembering John Adams Kuakini
  • Aug 24: Event remembering King Kamehameha III “Kauikeaouli”
  • Sep 21: Band appearance remembering Queen Lili‘uokalani
  • Oct 19: Event remembering Princess Ka‘iulani
  • Nov 16: Band appearance remembering King Kalakaua, Palace Curator Aunty Lei Collins and Bandmaster Charles “Bud” Dant
  • Dec 14: Event remembering Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop

Christmas at The Fairmont Marks 25th – Online Auction Opens Nov 25

Visions of sugarplums will dance in your head for the silver anniversary celebration of Christmas at The Fairmont-Dining with the Chefs.Dinner with the Chefs

The annual culinary scholarship fundraiser is 5:30-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and all attendees will receive a collectible 25th anniversary wine glass.

“New this year is a convenient, online format for the event’s silent auction,” says auction chair Patti Kimball. ”The online auction enables everyone in the community to participate in our effort to provide culinary scholarships for local students and chefs.”

Using BiddingForGood, the auction opens Monday, Nov. 25 at www.konakohalachefs.org and continues and ends at the event, which is annually presented by the American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Association.

Also this year, the gala moves into the Grand Ballroom to offer more seating, a video presentation on the past 24 years provided by Konawaena High School’s graphics department, live jazz and dancing, plus lavish culinary stations presented by local chefs and confectioners. Guests can savor handcrafted ales, wines and 100 percent Kona coffee.

Fun will flow outside into the courtyard for guests to view ornate gingerbread creations crafted by Hawai‘i Community College-West Hawai‘i culinary students under the direction of Chef Fernand Guiot, former owner of Kailua-Kona’s French Bakery. Be sure to bring your camera!

All auction items will be displayed outside, where guests can continue to bid on select holiday gifts, exciting activities and private dinner parties via smart phones and mobile tablets. Volunteers will be on hand to also process bids for attendees at computer laptop stations. The auction will close at 7:30 p.m.

“Last year’s auction raised $14,000,” notes Jean Hull, event founder. “We awarded $4,000 for student tuition scholarships and $10,000 to junior chefs and members for continuing education.”

Pre-sale tickets are $85 each, $90 at the door. Seating will be available for 400 guests on a first-come basis and reserved seating is available by purchasing a table for 10 for $1,000. Purchase tickets at www.konakohalachefs.org or at Kailua Candy Company, Clark Realty-Kona, Kona Wine Market and The Fairmont, Orchid, Hawai‘i, while supplies last. Charge tickets by phone at 808-329-2522.

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i offers event room rates of $259 for Partial Ocean View and $249 for Garden View, including breakfast for two and self-parking at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. Contact reservations for details at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Christmas at The Fairmont.”

For updates, visit Christmas at The Fairmont-Dining with the Chefs on facebook.

American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Association: ACF is the largest, professional, non-profit organization for chefs and cooks in the nation. Founded in 1980, the Kona Kohala chapter is comprised of food service professionals, vendors, growers and culinary enthusiasts; www.konakohalachefs.org.


Viral Hepatitis Symposium to Address Increasing Burden of Treatable Disease in Hawaii

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) in partnership with the Hepatitis Support Network of Hawaii, Hep Free Hawaii, and other local agencies will address the changing state of hepatitis treatment and care in Hawaii at a symposium entitled, “Viral Hepatitis Hawaii – Update 2013” on Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Queen’s Conference Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Viral Hepatitis

This educational conference for medical professionals, social service providers, and community members will include updates from local and national experts about hepatitis B and C diagnosis and treatment, hepatitis during pregnancy, new drug therapies and research from the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, and more.

“As more effective hepatitis treatments become available and as more people get access to affordable insurance, it is important that both the general public and the medical community in Hawaii become aware of the possibility to treat hepatitis B and even cure hepatitis C,” said Thaddeus Pham, DOH viral hepatitis prevention coordinator and conference planning committee member. “This symposium will provide an opportunity for the medical community and other participants to increase their knowledge and awareness about how this disease affects our ohana and what we can do about it.”

The symposium will include auditorium and smaller breakout sessions, exhibits, continental breakfast and lunch (brochure attached). Category 1 CME credit is available for physicians from the Hawaii Consortium for Continuing Medical Education. Additionally, continuing education units have been approved by the National Association for Social Workers, Hawaii Chapter and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division, State of Hawaii. Online registration is available at www.virahhephi.org. (*Editors Note* NOTE LINK NOT WORKING YET?)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that more than 75 percent of adults living with hepatitis C are baby boomers born from 1945-1965. The CDC estimates that by screening and successfully treating baby boomers, over 121,000 deaths may be averted nationwide. According to DOH Immunization Branch estimates, approximately 23,000 people in Hawaii are living with hepatitis C, and 1 to 3 percent of people in Hawaii have hepatitis B. Hepatitis B and C are the most common causes of liver cancer in Hawaii, and Hawaii has the highest rate of liver cancer in the U.S.

More information on hepatitis B and C is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/hepatitis, or by calling 1-888-443-7232.

For local resources and information on hepatitis in general, individuals may call Aloha United Way 211 or go to www.hepfreehawaii.org.

State Develops Voluntary Guidelines for Pesticides Use on Kauai

The Pesticides Branch of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has completed voluntary pesticide-use guidelines and established the “Kauai Agricultural Good Neighbor Program” to provide more information and education on pesticide use on the island.

Good Neighbor Program

Click to view the report

The voluntary pesticide-use guideline will go into effect on Dec. 1, 2013. It will apply to the five agricultural companies mentioned in Kauai County Bill 2491 (Dow AgroSciences, Pioneer, Syngenta, BASF, and Kauai Coffee Company) and assures that adequate buffer zones are in place when restricted-use pesticides (RUP) are applied.

The voluntary guidelines are in addition to federal guidelines established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“The department used existing federal worker protection standards and increased buffer zones to provide extra protection for residents in areas surrounding these farming operations,” said HDOA Deputy Scott Enright. “We will also be requesting that the Legislature establish 10 additional inspector and pesticide education positions statewide in this upcoming legislative session.”

Under the Kauai Agricultural Good Neighbor Program, neighbors who are located nearest to the farm operations will be the primary focus of continuing outreach efforts to provide information on pesticide use and to discuss any concerns.

Under the Voluntary RUP Notice section of the program, the guidelines will register schools, hospitals and medical clinics that are within 1,000 feet of the farming operations so they may receive a weekly schedule of any planned RUP application near their property. Registered entities will also be notified at least 24 hours in advance should there be any change in the weekly RUP application schedule.

The guidelines also require a 100-foot buffer zone between application areas and schools, medical facilities and residential properties, unless the EPA regulations are stricter. By law, all requirements found on the pesticide label must be followed.

The companies are also required to file a monthly report on RUP use with HDOA’s Pesticides Branch. The report will be available for public viewing at the state’s Open Data portal: https://data.hawaii.gov

The program will be assessed after one year.