Big Island Community to Receive National Wildfire Safety Award Tomorrow

Kohala By The Sea is one of only 34 communities nationwide to receive a national award from the Firewise Communities/USA program for its decade long commitment to wildfire safety. Community members will receive the award during a ceremony on Tuesday, December 3, at 1 p.m. in Kohala By The Sea at a private residence.

Firewise Community

State Representative Cindy Evans will present a proclamation to the Kohala By The Sea Firewise committee on behalf of the State House of Representatives. Governor Neil Abercrombie’s west Hawaii liaison will also present a proclaimation on behalf of the governor to the Firewise committee. Hawaii County Councilmember Margaret Willie, Fire Chief Darren Rosario and Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira will also be on hand to congratulate the community. State Senator Malama Solomon is also issuing a proclamation to the community on behalf of the Hawaii State Senate.

Mayor Billy Kenoi will be unable to attend the ceremony and will present a proclamation on behalf of Hawaii County to KBTS residents later this month.

“The Hawaii Fire Department is proud of the Kohala By The Sea community for achieving national recognition for their efforts to protect their community from the potential devastating effects of wildfires,” said Fire Chief Darren Rosario.

“It’s important for communities to become Firewise for several reasons. The KBTS community and its neighbors were victims of serious fires in the early 1990s. It’s with their effort to be Firewise that I can proudly say as fire chief, it has made a difference.”

Realizing their community was at risk to wildfire, ten years ago the small community started participating in the Firewise Communtieis program in order to reduce their risk to wildfire.

Firewise Communities/USA is a national program that works with communities to reduce the threat of home loss due to wildfire. It teaches people to prepare for a fire before it occurs.

The program adapts especially well to small communities, developments, and homeowner associations of all types, says Denise Laitinen, the Firewise Communities Hawaii Coordinator.

“The residents of Kohala By The Sea recognized that they live in a high fire hazard area and used a variety of free Firewise resources to reduce their threat to wildfires,” says Laitinen.

“Firewise practices have been implemented at every level of the community,” adds Laitinen.

Wildfire safety community projects over the years include opening a fire emergency exit and removing overgrown brush from a gulch that runs through the neighborhood. Residents routinely remove overgrown brush from their property and create defensible space around their home, by removing dead leaves that might ignite during an approaching wildfire.

Kohala By The Sea residents attended a Firewise workshop taught by Laitinen and KBTS Firewise committee members distributed wildfire safety info packets to all community home owners. For years the KBTS design committee has provided Firewise construction checklists and videos on how to build a Firewise home to property owners wanting to build homes within the subdivision. Firewise practices have even been implemented in the community’s CC&R’s.

There are 950 nationally recognized Firewise Communities across the country. Each community must successfully complete five steps in order to be designated a Firewise Community. These steps include forming a neighborhood Firewise committee, having a wildfire hazard assessment conducted to identify the community’s wildfire threats, indentifying projects to reduce those risks and completing the mitigation projects.

The KBTS community formed a Firewise committee after Laitinen gave a community presentation. Laitinen also conducted the wildfire hazard assessment, something she has done for dozens of communities throughout West Hawaii and the state.

Kohala By The Sea first achieved national Firewise recognition status in December 2003. Every year for the past decade the community has successfully completed the five steps of the Firewise program and received its national designation.

For more information regarding Firewise or the Firewise Communities/USA program, contact the Firewise Communities Hawaii Coordinator at (808) 281-3497 or by e-mail at

Big Island Police Identify Man Who Died on New Saddle Road

A 31-year-old Keaʻau man died Friday morning (November 29) in a single utility tractor crash. He was identified as Troy K. Pattioay.

About 11:33 a.m., Pattioay was operating a 1987 Kenworth Utility tracker pulling an unloaded lowboy trailer and traveling west on Daniel K. Inouye Highway, (New Saddle Road), just prior to the 51-mile marker. As the truck was traveling down a steep grade it reportedly lost its brakes, crossed to the unimproved west-bound shoulder and lost control, causing the trailer to break free and the utility tractor to roll over. Pattioay died at the scene. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

His passenger, a 26-year-old Keaʻau man, was pinned in the vehicle and had to be extricated by Fire Department personnel. He was taken to North Hawaiʻi community Hospital in stable condition and then transferred to The Queens Medical Center on Oahu.

The highway was closed to all traffic at 11:35 a.m. and reopened at 5:15 p.m.

Police do not believe alcohol or speed were factors in the collision.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Larry Flowers Jr. at 326-4646, extension 229.

This is the 25th fatality this year compared with 36 at this time last year.

Video: University of Hawaii Football Tribute to Willis Wilson – “Missing Warrior Formation”

The University of Hawai’i football team paid tribute to its fallen teammate – Willis Wilson who tragically passed away the morning of the team’s season finale against Army.


A moment of silence was held prior to kickoff and the team lined up with only 10 players on its first offensive play in a “Missing Warrior Formation.”
WillisJack Willis Wilson III


Big Island Artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker Files Copyright Infringement Suit Against

Renowned local Hawaiian Tiki Artist Brad Parker and his attorneys David E Smith & Schneider Rothman IP Law Group filed a copyright infringement suit in U.S. District Court in Hawaii against internet retailer

Through his Big Island based company Tiki Shark Art Inc., Parker sells his paintings at galleries locally and around the world.  His unmistakable lurid style of art reflects influences as diverse as the Flemish masters, comic books, and Hawaiian tourist kitsch.  Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker is a world class, award winning creator of Polynesian Pop Surrealistic Art.

Brad holding his original art piece "Forbidden Island".

Brad holding his original art piece “Forbidden Island”.

In May, the Dubai affiliate of surf goods giant Body Glove ordered from Tiki Shark Art some 25,000 towels featuring Parker’s painting “Forbidden Island.” However, the Middle East company cancelled when it discovered the image was already being reproduced on over 218 items by a Internet retailer

The lawsuit claims that removed Parker’s signature, and reproduced and distributed it on consumer goods without his permission.

This looks familiar!

This looks familiar!

“It’s unfair and deceptive for someone to take an artist’s work and sell it with no recognition and no remuneration,” Parker said. Inc. encourages its members to upload logos and images that the company then prints on products such as T-shirts and mugs and sells on its website.  For each transaction, the company pays a commission to the member who uploaded the image.

Brad drawing "Forbidden Island"

Brad drawing “Forbidden Island”

According to the lawsuit, CafePress did not investigate whether its members had licensing rights to Parker’s painting.  Tiki Shark seeks injunctive relief, declaratory relief, and damages for the full amount of its losses, plus statutory damages for removing Parker’s signature.

“This is not the first time CafePress’ business model has landed the company in litigation,” said Joel Rothman, a partner at Schneider Rothman. “We are asking the Hawaiian court to order to stop all its unauthorized sales and pay Parker what he is rightfully owed,” added local attorney David E Smith.

About Tiki Shark Art Inc:

Tiki Shark Art Inc is headquartered in Kailua Kona, Hawaii.  Their art business is heavily represented locally on the Hawaiian Islands, on the Mainland – especially in Southern California, South Florida and Internationally in over 13 countries including Middle East, Australia, Japan, Canada and The British Virgin Islands.  The company has been quoted by Hawaii Style Magazine “as one of the fastest growing Island lifestyle companies in Hawaii”.