Mayor Kenoi On Vacation Beginning Dec. 6 – Mayor to Accompany His Son to the Pop Warner Super Bowl in Florida

Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi will be on vacation beginning Friday, Dec. 6 to cheer on his son Justin, 13, at the Pop Warner Super Bowl in Kissimmee, Fla.

Proud "Dad Moment" for Mayor Kenoi as his son will be playing for the Pop Warner Championships on the mainland.

Proud “Dad Moment” for Mayor Kenoi as his son Justin will be playing for the Pop Warner Super Bowl on the mainland

Justin Kenoi is a member of the Big Island Pop Warner champion Pana’ewa Ali’i football team, which is the first Hawai’i Island team to win the Western Regional finals to advance to the Pop Warner Super Bowl.

Mayor Kenoi will remain with the team while the Pana’ewa Ali’i participate in the tournament. Managing Director Wally Lau will be acting mayor until Mayor Kenoi returns.

Kona Crime Prevention Committee Recognizes Officer Kalae Lee as “Officer of the Month”

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee recognized Officer Kalae Lee as “Officer of the Month” for December in a luncheon ceremony Wednesday (December 4) at Huggo’s restaurant in Kailua-Kona.

Officer Kalae Lee

Officer Kalae Lee

Lee was honored for his successful investigation of a methamphetamine dealer.

In July 2013, Lee received valuable intelligence that a man was distributing large quantities of “ice” in North Kohala. He conducted a month-long investigation with assistance from North Kohala Community Policing officers. The investigation led to the identity of a suspect and confirmed the reports of meth distribution.

Officer Lee drafted and obtained search warrants at a Kapaʻau home, where police recovered 4 1/2 ounces of crystal meth hours before it was to be distributed into the small community of North Kohala. The drugs had an estimated street value of $14,750. At the scene, police arrested two people. A 46-year-old man was arrested and later charged with first-degree meth trafficking and drug paraphernalia. A 28-year-old woman was arrested and later charged with promoting a dangerous drug and drug paraphernalia.

Detective Edwin A. Buyten from the Ice Task Force recommended Lee for the award and commended him for his investigative skills. “Officers later learned the community was extremely pleased with the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s effort to disrupt the flow of narcotics within their community and protect their children from dangerous and harmful drugs,” Buyten wrote in nomination papers.

As “Officer of the Month,” Lee is eligible to become “Officer of the Year.”

The Kona Crime Prevention Committee is an organization that encourages community involvement in aiding and supporting police in West Hawaiʻi.

Toyota Hawaii Inviting Student Artists to Create Drawing of “Your Dream Car”

Toyota Hawaii is inviting all Hawaii student artists age 15 years and younger to create a drawing of “Your Dream Car” for Toyota Hawaii’s 2014 Dream Car Art Contest.
Dream Car Art ContestOriginal, hand-drawn entries must be submitted by January 31, 2014 to any Toyota dealer statewide or mailed to Toyota Dream Car Art Contest, P.O. Box 2788, Honolulu, Hawaii 96803-2788. Entry forms and rules are available online now at and at all Toyota Hawaii Dealerships. One lucky winner could receive a trip to Japan to participate in the Toyota Motor Corporation world competition, while Hawaii finalists will receive an iPad Mini® with Retina Display or cash. New this year, Toyota Hawaii will award five teachers throughout the State of Hawaii a $250 gift card for art materials and supplies.
When developing its own concept vehicles, a critical element for Toyota Motor Corporation is a society that lives in harmony with the environment. As such, entrants are encouraged to create their “dream car” with one of the following themes in mind:
  • Conservation/environmentally friendly vehicles
  • Automobiles that promote world peace
  • Concept cars that encourage helping others
“Last year we received more than 600 entries from local students, double from the previous year,” said Glenn Inouye, Senior Vice President for Toyota Hawaii. “This year, we hope to receive 1,000 entries. We invite all local keiki to share ideas about the future of transport by drawing their dream cars. We at Toyota believe in nurturing the creativity of the next generation of great inventors, thinkers and dreamers.”
People’s Choice Competition    
All eligible artwork will be automatically entered into the People’s Choice Competition where family, friends, and fans of the Toyota Hawaii Facebook page will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite entries February 17 to March 9. Voters are encouraged to vote daily and each vote will be automatically tallied. The artwork with the most votes in each age category at the end of the competition will be automatically entered for final judging in the local competition.
Categories and Prizes
The top winner in each of the following age categories will receive an iPad Mini® with Retina Display; second and third place winners will each receive $100:
  • Under 8 years old
  • 8- to 11-year-olds
  • 12- to 15-year-olds
The entrant with the most votes in each age category for the People’s Choice Contest will receive $100.
New this year is a teacher recognition component. During the contest period, each teacher who submits student artwork will be entered to win a $250 gift card for school/art supplies. One (1) random winner will be selected from each island –Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island– and two (2) from Oahu.  
In March 2014, the artwork of nine local finalists selected by the judging panel will be submitted to the World Contest. If any of the Hawaii entries receive merits in the World Contest, those students will enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan to participate in the final awards ceremony in August 2014. All final awards ceremony participants will have a chance to meet Toyota Motor Corporation’s top executives in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture.
Entrants are encouraged to visit for contest rules.
Important Dates to Remember
  • November 8: Entry forms and contest information available online at and at Toyota Hawaii dealerships statewide.
  • January 31: Entries due.
  • February 17 to March 9: Voting period for the People’s Choice Competition.
  • March: Judging takes place; finalists notified.
  • April: Toyota Hawaii awards ceremony for local finalists.
The judging panel includes Department of Education Art in Public Places Artist in Residence Resource Teacher Evan Tottori, Honolulu Academy of Arts Academy Art Center at Linekona Director Vince Hazen, Hawaii News Now’s Tannya Joaquin, KHON2’s Kanoe Gibson, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Honolulu’s Director of Public Relations Mahealani Richardson, and Toyota Hawaii’s Glenn Inouye.
For inspiration, students are encouraged to view artwork of last year’s contest finalists at the Honolulu Academy of Arts Academy Art Center at Linekona on display from January 1 – 30 as well as at Kahala Mall from November 25 to December 23.
In 2012, Emily Stone of Kaneohe earned a trip to Japan where she was the only U.S. representative among 30 international students awarded at the World Contest.
Conducted as part of Toyota Motor Corporation’s social contribution activities, the contest gives children throughout the world the opportunity to develop an interest in cars and helps them experience the joy and importance of having a dream. Last year’s contest, the seventh since it was first held in 2004, attracted more than 600,000 entries from 70 countries and regions.
Toyota Hawaii dealership locations for entry drop off:
2850 Pukoloa St. Suite #200, Honolulu 96819
Sales:  808.564.1100
Hours: M-F 9am-9pm; Sat 9am-6pm; Sun 10am-4pm
45-655 Kamehameha Hwy., Kaneohe 96744
Sales:  808.564.1400
Hours: M-F 9am-9pm; Sat 9am-6pm; Sun 10am-5pm
94-729 Farrington Hwy., Waipahu 96797
Sales:  808.564.1000
Hours: M-F 8:30am-9pm; Sat 8:30am-6pm; Sun 10am-6pm
4337 Rice St., Lihue 96766
Sales:  808.245.6978
Hours: M-F 8am-5pm; Sat 9am-4pm; Sun Closed
74-5504 Kaiwi St., Kailua Kona 96740
Sales:  808.329.8517
Hours: M-F 8am-6pm; 8am-4pm; Sun Closed
811 Kanoelehua Ave., Hilo 96720
Sales:  808.935.2920
Hours: M-F 8am-6pm; Sat 8am-4pm; Sun Closed
320 Hana Hwy., Kahului 96732
Sales: 808.877.2781
Hours: M-F 8am-6pm; Sat 9am-4pm; Sun Closed

Public Invited to Community Town Hall Meeting With Sen. Russell Ruderman

The public is invited to join Senator Russell Ruderman as he hosts a Community Talk Story Session in Kea‘au to discuss state legislation, community priorities, and how the public can participate in the legislative process with a look towards the upcoming 2014 Legislative Session.

Ruderman Town Hall Meeting

The talk story will be held at the Kea‘au Community Center on Thursday, December 12th at 6pm.  Please join your senator for a lively session to provide your feedback in this democratic process.

For more information, please call Senator Ruderman’s office in Honolulu at (808) 586-6890 or toll free at 974-4000 (then enter 66890) or by email: [email protected]

This event is open to the public and light refreshments will be served.

Big Island Police Release Sketch of Suspect from October Robbery

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an attempted robbery that occurred in Hilo on October 31.

At about 8 p.m. on that date, police responded to the Waiākea Villas after receiving a report from a 49-year-old Hilo man that while walking in the complex toward his vehicle in the parking lot, he was accosted by a man who brandished a weapon and demanded money. After the victim refused the demand, the suspect fled the area. The victim was not injured in the robbery attempt.

Sketch of the wanted man

Sketch of the wanted man

The suspect is described as a local male in his late 20s, about 5-foot-10, about 200 pounds with a light mustache. He was wearing a black T-shirt, dark shorts and a cap embroidered with the words “BJ Penn.”

Police are releasing a composite drawing of the suspect with hope that someone will recognize him. Anyone who may know the identity of the suspect or who has any information on this incident is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or to contact Detective Dean Uyetake at 961-2379 or [email protected].

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.


USS Nimitz Returns to Pearl Harbor for Brief Stop

Just a few days shy of the 72nd anniversary of the Japanese attack on U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor, Sailors and Marines manned the rails of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) as they entered the harbor Dec. 3.

Nimitz in Pearl Harbor

Passing by the USS Arizona memorial, the crew on board Nimitz paid tribute to their fallen comrades in the hallowed waters below.

“It really is surreal,” said Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Daniel Routhier, assigned to the “Wolf Pack” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75, one of eight squadrons assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, embarked on Nimitz.

Routhier, who has experienced paying honors to Arizona before, said doing so gave him an immense amount of pride in the Navy, and in being able to continue the tradition of saluting the memorial.

Interior Communications Electrician 2nd Class Michalle Boyce manned the rails of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) while passing the Arizona in 2004, and has volunteered to do so with every opportunity she has since been given. Boyce’s grandfather served on the USS Oklahoma during the attack, and being able to render a salute to the Sailors lost in the Dec. 7, 1941 attack has become a point of personal pride.

“Every time I stand up there I feel goosebumps when we pass the Arizona,” Boyce said. “It is a very powerful experience.”

Nimitz, along with embarked Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, CVW- 11 and Destroyer Squadron 23 made the brief stop while headed home after an eight-and-a-half month deployment to the U.S. 5th, 6th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibilities (AORs).

“I am especially proud of our crew, and all the work they have done over the duration of this deployment,” said Rear Adm. Michael S. White, commander, CSG 11.

Upon departing Pearl Harbor, Nimitz is scheduled to continue east toward San Diego, before returning home to Everett, Wash., before the end of the year.

For more news from USS Nimitz (CVN 68), visit


Coast Guard Seeking Public’s Help in Identifying Two Boaters Possibly in Distress off Kauai

The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help in identifying two boaters who were seen in a possible distress situation off Kalalau Beach, Kauai Monday.

The Coast Guard Sector Command Center received a call at 6:30 p.m. from a concerned hiker who observed two people in a small inflatable boat with an outboard engine striking a reef just off the beach. The boaters then attempted to hand paddle their black 8-foot inflatable boat out to sea toward Haena Beach Park.  The boaters were observed unsuccessfully attempting to restart their engine.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

Coast Guard Station Kauai coordinated efforts with the Kauai Police and Fire Departments to check boat ramps and landing areas along the coast to verify the safety of the two men, but have yet to find anyone matching the description. An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point was launched at 10:30 p.m. and began searching for the boat, but could not locate them. The Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island, home ported in Honolulu, arrived on the Napali Coast at 6 a.m. Tuesday to join the ongoing search effort.

Anyone with information regarding the two boaters’ whereabouts or safety is requested to contact the Coast Guard Command Center immediately at (808) 842-2600.

Hawaii State Department of Education Announces Oahu Bus Vendors for 2014-15 School Year

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) has taken another major step in the overhaul of its student transportation system. Before the Board of Education (BOE) Finance and Infrastructure Committee meeting today, the DOE announced that Roberts Hawaii and Ground Transport, Inc. were selected as Oahu bus vendors for the following school year, 2014-15.

DOE Release

The contracts are among major reform efforts underway since December 2012 to meet recommendations by the State Office of the Auditor and the DOE’s transportation consultant, Management Partnership Services (MPS) to make fundamental changes to the bus procurement process.

Contracts were awarded to Roberts Hawaii School Bus and Ground Transport, Inc. on November 27 following a Request for Proposal (RFP) process that began in July 2013. The RFP was divided into seven clusters, and 305 school bus routes on the island of Oahu, with Roberts receiving 181 routes, and Ground the other 124.

The awards were based on best value, which considers cost and quality. In all, the combined award amount for the two companies was nearly $21 million for 2014-15. The RFP incorporated a completely revised contract performance management process that will result in more effective oversight of operations and transportation expenditures.

The DOE’s bus transportation reform efforts, known collectively as the “Get on Board” program, is a multi-year, multi-phased effort to transform how the DOE delivers transportation services to its students. The initiative resulted from a comprehensive study by MPS commissioned after 100 bus routes were eliminated in June 2012 due to rising contract costs and budget cuts. MPS determined that a fundamental overhaul of the DOE’s Student Transportation Services Branch was needed, including changes to contracting practice to encourage competitive pricing, clarify expectation and improve contract management.

“Get on Board” officially launched earlier this school year when bus service was restored to as many as 1,000 students at 32 schools in the Aiea, Moanalua, Pearl City, Radford and Waipahu High complex areas. Last month, the second phase of “Get on Board” got underway with service reinstated to 200 students from August Ahrens Elementary, Highlands Intermediate, Pearl City High and Waipahu High. It was during the program’s second phase that the use of Transfinder’s RoutefinderPro computerized software was used to optimize stop times and route directions in a portion of the service area.

The report also noted Hawaii’s unique geography and relatively closed market as additional constraints to the procurement system. Specifically, MPS recommended the DOE pilot a revised business model, “Get on Board” for 2013, and execute a revised competitive procurement process for contracts in the 2014-15 school year. Another MPS recommendation led to the signing of two State Senate bills by Gov. Neil Abercrombie that gave the DOE more flexibility in how it awards bus contracts.

“The reforms in the delivery of student transportation services are key contributors to enhancing the educational experiences of our students,” said Raymond L’Heureux, assistant superintendent for the DOE’s Office of School Facilities and Support Services. “The RFP process is an example of how the DOE continues to focus on innovations and technologies that will allow us to deliver our services in the most efficient and effective manner possible.”

The DOE’s school bus transportation system serves more than 35,000 students annually through 700 buses operated by 12 contractors on five islands: Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Hawaii Island.

The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 288 schools and serves more than 185,000 students. Hawaii’s public school system was established in 1840 by King Kamehameha III. To learn more, visit