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American Jungle Producer Responds to Allegations by State Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

The producer of History Channel’s latest TV Series “American Jungle” has responded to the allegations made by the Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources.

TJaye Forsythe

TJaye Forsythe

TJaye Forsythe posted the following on Facebook tonight:

I can no longer be silent. I’ve been informed that the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has made a statement regarding the show “American Jungle”. The press release alleges that the show is “inaccurate, offensive, and in some cases, potentially illegal”.

Let me get straight to the point of being “inaccurate.” This is a television show not a documentary. Television shows have fictional and non-fictional elements to them. “American Jungle” was considered more of a reality show because these are not actors and they are not reading from a script. If the show was meant to be an accurate depiction of hunting in Hawaii, we would have created a documentary. If the DLNR believes that the show is “inaccurate” then I believe they’ve answered their own question about “American Jungle” just being a television show. Like the show Hawaii 5-0, I don’t believe this is how police procedures are done in the State of Hawaii because I know it’s just a show.

Second, what is “offensive” is that DLNR has made a press release placing false allegations on A&E and History Channel without making any contact with the network. I have been informed by the network that no one from the DLNR had contacted them prior to making the press release to clear up any inaccurate or illegal issues. DLNR claims that “filming may have occurred on private land, the maps depicted in the show clearly demark areas that are under DLNR’s jurisdiction.” DLNR decides to use the animated map on the television show and claims it clearly marks the areas they believed were used in filming. For those who have watched the show, it is obvious that this animated map is not drawn to scale and has no ratio measurements to pinpoint the exact locations. DLNR’s use of the animated map from the television show indicates the extent of their investigation. DLNR did not contact the network to clear the private and public land issue. Instead, they chose to use an animated map from the television show. A quick call to the network would have clarified that it was private land.

Third, since the filming is on private land, does DLNR now feel that they are going to begin regulating what can be done on private land? Their concern was that there may have been illegal hunting at night. Was DLNR on site during filming to see the time the hunt took place and if the pig was alive? Again, this is a television show, and no one from the network was contacted by DLNR to clarify if any illegal activity took place. In fact, Governor Neil Abercrombie stated, “If we discover any laws or regulations have been broken we will vigorously pursue legal and/or criminal charges.” Is this a witch hunt? How can you discover if any laws were broken when you do not contact the network and decide to do your own investigation by watching an edited television show?

Finally, and most importantly, DLNR states that the “series depicts ‘clans’ that are fighting over access trails to territorial hunting grounds that inaccurately portray restrictive access to Hawaii’s public lands, which are held in public trust for the people.” DLNR continues by stating that “the cultural insensitivity of the series is also a concern.”

But I believe the biggest and most important issue of “territorial hunting grounds” is DLNR’s plan to ban hunting within 4,800 acres of public forest located south of Hilo. This DLNR “land grab” is the biggest territory war that the hunters of the Big Island have ever faced. This “land grab” calls for installing 17 miles of fencing to keep pigs, goats and sheep out and will extend almost to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park boundary. The area would be closed to hunting as DLNR’s way of protecting the ecosystem from invasive species. If the land is truly held in the “public trust for the people” why are you taking away these hunters rights to gather on land that has been providing food for their families for generations? You are taking away these hunting grounds like a “thief in the night.” You claim that you are concerned about “cultural insensitivity”. Where is your cultural sensitivity to these hunters as you threaten the local culture by targeting one of its traditional food sources?

DLNR is a bully taking away rights, threatening cultural livelihood and even trying to censor what can be shown on television. To this I say, long live “American Jungle” for exposing the land grab issues DLNR was trying to hide and showing how hostile Hawaii is towards the filming industry.

If I had known “American Jungle” would have received this much attention from the DLNR, I would have made an accurate documentary showing the “inaccurate, offensive, and in some cases, potentially illegal” land grab issue that threatens these Big Island hunter’s way of life. This documentary would have exposed the DLNR’s land grab as the largest territory war that hunters of the Big Island have ever faced.

Hulihe’e Palace Event in December Honors Princess Bernice Pauahi

Enjoy a free Afternoon at Hulihe’e Palace 4-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15 to remember the late Princess Bernice Pauahi. Presenting 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.

Painting of Bernice Pauahi Bishop (1831-1884).  (Hawaii State Archives)

Painting of Bernice Pauahi (1831-1884). (Hawaii State Archives)

Princess Bernice Pauahi is most well known as the benefactress of Kamehameha Schools. A great-granddaughter of Kamehameha I, she came of age during the Victorian Era. She was well liked and very private. When her cousin, Kamehameha V, chose her as his successor in 1872, she declined. Her refusal ended the Kamehameha Dynasty.

During her lifetime, the princess witnessed the physical and social decline of Hawaiians. Some foreigners brought disease—the native population dwindled from 400,000 in 1778 to fewer than 45,000 a century later—and controlled most commerce. Missionaries introduced a new value system.

“Distressed by the plight of her people, Princess Pauahi created a will in 1883 as an instrument of change,” says Casey Ballao, Hulihe‘e Palace docent coordinator. “She believed education could be the answer to help her people.”

The document established a charitable land trust overseen by trustees to improve the well being of Hawaiians. It operates as Kamehameha Schools today, one of the largest, private trusts in the nation.

“The will was the princess’s way to malama ka ‘aina—practice the ethical, prudent and culturally appropriate stewardship of land and resources,” adds Ballao.

Pauahi married Charles Reed Bishop in 1850. She and Bishop shared a love for traveling, teaching and entertaining and the couple became astute property managers. When her favorite cousin, Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani died, Pauahi received her entire estate (including Hulihe‘e Palace) and this inheritance comprised the major portion of Pauahi’s landholdings. The princess died a year later in 1884. To honor his wife, Charles founded the Bishop Museum in 1889 to house the royal family heirlooms and her extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts.

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for docent-guided and self-guided tours. Museum hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday—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.

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.

Hawaii State Critical of TV Program Misrepresenting Hunting in Hawaii – Investigation Launched Into Possible Law Violations While Filming

In response to The History Channel’s new series “American Jungle,” the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), as well as representatives of hunting, animal protection and film agencies in Hawaii, find the series’ depiction of hunting activities on the Island of Hawaii to be inaccurate, offensive, and in some cases, potentially illegal.

Clans

The DLNR Division of Conservation Resource Enforcement (DOCARE) is currently conducting an investigation into whether several of DLNR’s rules and regulations may have been broken during the filming of the program. Activities such as night hunting both on public and private land, are illegal under Hawaii Revised Statues §183D-27 and Hawaii Administrative Rules §13-123-6. The Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), which oversees DLNR’s hunting program, denied a permit request last spring for the production to film on state forest lands.

The series depicts “clans” that are fighting over access trails to territorial hunting grounds that inaccurately portray restrictive access to Hawaii’s public lands, which are held in public trust for the people. Though the filming may have occurred on private land, the maps depicted in the show clearly demark areas that are under DLNR’s jurisdiction. Comments received by DLNR staff from U.S. Mainland viewers have already made it clear that the program gives a warped interpretation of Hawaii’s hunting program.

“DLNR enforces hunting rules in the interests of public and hunter safety, established game management practices and to provide a recreational and sustainable sporting tradition. We denied the film permit request because it failed to provide sufficient details to indicate the show’s content, and raised concerns as to possible illegal activities that might be depicted in the series,” stated DLNR Chairperson William Aila.

Additionally, the cultural insensitivity of the series is also a concern to DLNR. In the first episode of “American Jungle,” spears and dogs were used to hunt a cow. However, in an archival review of more than 60,000 historical documents, there is no evidence that native Hawaiians hunted pigs in the forest with spears, let alone cattle. Further, cattle are not recognized as game animals in Hawaii and are illegal to hunt without a special feral cattle control permit issued by DLNR under §13-123-12.

The Hawaii County Game Management Advisory Commission also expressed its discontent: “GMAC is very disappointed in the History Chanel’s new series, ‘American Jungle.’ The show’s content does not in any way portray the views or actions of the Big Island hunters or residents,” said Willie-Joe Camara, GMAC District 1 commissioner. “As you know, the people of the Big Island, as well as the entire state of Hawaii, take pride in helping our neighbors and showing our visitors our “Aloha” way of life. So far ‘American Jungle’’ has done nothing to show that.”

“Hunting serves important historical, cultural and practical roles in Hawaii,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “When guided by lawful and ethical hunting practices, hunting supports worthy conservation objectives in protection of native species and habitats against invasive and destructive elements. Portraying our local hunters as primitives demeans our people and their contributions to subsistence and wildlife conservation. This appears to be a fictional ‘reality’ production with no connection to actual hunters in Hawaii. If we discover any laws or regulations have been broken we will vigorously pursue legal and/or criminal charges.”

“The methods depicted violate core fair and ethical hunting principles, including preventing prolonged and unnecessary animal suffering.” Inga Gibson, Hawaii director of the Humane Society of the United States.

The film industry provides guidelines for the proper care of animals during production. Concerns regarding the ethical treatment of animals and whether some of the scenes were “staged” have also been raised.

“By their very nature, so-called reality television programs are difficult to control, given their unscripted, fast-paced style,” said Donne Dawson, manager of the Hawaii Film Office.

“But they are exactly why we have a well-established film permitting process in place. Our state film permits are the only way we can help productions get what they need safely, while at the same time protecting our natural and cultural resources and providing the necessary liability insurance.”

“The Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement is alarmed by the hunting practices depicted in the American Jungle series,” said Randy Awo, DOCARE chief. “All persons involved in verifiable hunting activities that are contrary to the laws, rules and regulations established to ensure safe and responsible hunting practices in the state of Hawaii, may be subject to criminal prosecution or DLNR administrative hearings.”

DLNR and the Humane Society of the United States offer a reward of up to $5,000 for any violations of state conservation laws. To report violations, call 1-855-DLNR-TIP.

Free Surfers Healing Camp for Children With Autism and Other Disabilities

A free Surfers Healing Camp for children with autism and other disabilities will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, December 7, at Richardson Ocean Park in Hilo.

Surfers Healing

Now in its fourth year, the Surfers Healing Camp provides disabled children and their families with the unique experience of surfing with professionals under supervised conditions. Knowledgeable surfing instructors, surfboards and U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vests will be provided at no charge. Complementary drinks, snacks and lunches will be offered to participating children, their families and event volunteers.

Surfers Healing is a national organization started 15 years ago in California to share the joy of surfing with the less fortunate. Its Hawai‘i Island chapter is sponsoring the December 7 drug-, alcohol-, and tobacco-free event. Additional support provided through a partnership with the Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation, HMSA, Hawai‘i Behavioral Health and Hulakai Surfboards.

An estimated 200 people, including approximately 50 keiki, are expected to participate in the Hilo camp. Surfers Healing Camps are held throughout the world, providing more than 3,000 children annually with the opportunity to try surfing.

To register your child and learn more about the camp, please visit www.surfershealing.org. Space is limited, and spots fill up fast.

For more information, please call Kalani Kahalioumi at 315-6380.

Wordless Wednesday – 50 Foot Cliff Jump in Hawaii

First Person view of a cliff jump from a 50 foot ledge. Maui, Hawaii.

Maui Cliff Jump
Shot with a GoPro Hero 3 black at 1080p 60fps.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/V9-CE-FGk4U]

Aiona Car Sales Donates Proceeds of Car Sale to Hospice of Hilo

In support of Hospice of Hilo, Aiona Car Sales sold a 2006 Mercedes Benz M-Class ML350 and donated all the proceeds to Hospice of Hilo.  The car, with only 58,000 miles, sold for $10,000.

“We’re so grateful to the Aiona family in their support of our programs that help patients and families live better by bringing them care and comfort in their time of need,” said Hospice of Hilo CEO Brenda S. Ho.

Hospice Aiona

In 1998 Aiona Car Sales opened its doors to the community and has been delivering on its mission of providing quality vehicles at a fair price. The Aiona family has had personal experiences with hospice care and deeply believe in its mission and work.  “Hospice is an amazing service.  They do great things for our community.  This is our way of giving back for the care they have provided for our family and the many, many `ohana throughout our community.  We’re lucky to have Hospice of Hilo here and are proud to support what they do,” said Pat Aiona, Sr.

Since 1983, Hospice of Hilo has been ensuring that every life is touched by compassionate care, helping individuals and families find comfort and sense of peace during their time of need.   Currently Hospice of Hilo runs a Home Care Program, an inpatient care center, a bereavement program for adults and children, and a Pre-Hospice Transitions Program, and is opening up Hawai‘i Islands first Palliative Care Center in January 2014.

 

Hiccup Circus at the Palace Theater This Weekend

Hiccup Circus

Update on the Kona Fires

On Monday (November 25) at approximately 3:33 p.m., Patrol Officers from the Kona and South Kohala districts and Fire Department personnel responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Hawaiʻi Belt Road (Route 190) in the area of the 14 mile marker in Kailua-Kona.

Waikoloa Fire

Upon arrival emergency personnel discovered the fire spread north from the mauka side of the roadway towards the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, approximately four miles east and approximately two miles south along Hawaiʻi Belt Road.

On Tuesday (November 26) at 3:54 p.m., Kona Patrol Officers and Fire Department personnel responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Hawaiʻi Belt Road (Route 190) in the area of the 16 mile marker in the area of Puanahulu.

Upon arrival emergency personnel discovered the fire spread from the mauka side of the roadway and headed south in the direction of the Puulani Estates Subdivision, burning approximately 150 acres of vacant land. As emergency personnel were working to extinguish this fire, another brush fire was reported in the area of the 23 mile marker, also on Hawaiʻi Belt Road. Fire personnel were able to quickly extinguish that fire which burned approximately a quarter of an acre.

No structures were damaged as a result of the fires and the total extent of the burned property has yet to be determined.

Detectives with the Area II Criminal Investigation Section are continuing the investigation into the cause of the fires. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Levon Stevens, at 326-4646, extension 226.

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.