Wordless Wednesday – I Dont Sell Tomatoe

I dont sell tomatoe!






Governor Abercrombie Signs Bill Authorizing Industrial Hemp Research Program

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed Senate Bill 2175 (Act 56), a measure that allows the University of Hawaii (UH) College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) to establish a two-year industrial hemp remediation and biofuel crop research program.

Governor Abercrombie Signs Bill Authorizing Industrial Hemp Research Program

Governor Abercrombie Signs Bill Authorizing Industrial Hemp Research Program

Act 56 authorizes the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp in accordance with requirements established by the federal Agriculture Act of 2014, which allows higher education institutions and state departments of agriculture to conduct industrial hemp research.

“Hawaii’s environment and economy will benefit from this research,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “Industrial hemp can be used to decontaminate soil and increase the state’s production of biodiesel, therefore reducing our dependency on imported fuel.”

Act 56, which takes effect July 1, requires the state Department of Agriculture to certify the industrial hemp seed stock and verify that plants grown are not marijuana. The program will be limited to one test site. It also states that the dean of the UH CTAHR must submit a final report, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature prior to start of the 2016 legislative session.

Open Cockpit Day at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

Visitors will have the opportunity to sit in the seat, man the controls, and really feel the history of WWII fighters and modern-day jet fighters at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s third Open Cockpit Day, Saturday, May 17, 9am to 4pm.  The event is free with paid Museum admission and free for Museum Members.

Open Cockpit3

Guests younger than 10 years of age will require parental supervision to climb up and into the aircraft. Guests must also be able to climb boarding stairs and into a cockpit, to participate. Museum visitors are invited to bring cameras and the Museum staff will do the rest. Pilot’s gear, the Museum’s vintage aircraft, and meetings with aviation heroes will create a unique family day.

Open Cockpit2Download a free flight simulator coupon and purchase tickets online at www.PacificAviationMuseum.org. Phone 808-441-1007 for more information or email Education@PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is open 9am to 5pm daily and is accessed by shuttles from the USS Arizona Memorial/Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is located at 319 Lexington Boulevard, Historic Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818.

Big Island Police Locate Car of Woman Whose Body Was Found This Weekend

Hawaiʻi Island police have located the car of a woman whose body was found in Hilo over the weekend.

HPDBadgeThe tan 1997 Toyota Camry four-door sedan was found in Honomū just after midnight Wednesday (April 30). Police thank the public for their assistance.

A fisherman discovered the body along the shoreline off Hawaiʻi Belt Road in the Wainaku area shortly before midnight Saturday (April 26). She was identified through fingerprints as 48-year-old Jodi L. Masutomi of Hilo.

An autopsy conducted Tuesday (April 29) revealed that her injuries were consistent with a fall from a height. The cause of death is being deferred, however, pending a toxicology report.

Police ask anyone with information about this case to contact Detective Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or nserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 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.

Disqualified UH Hilo Student Candidates Asking Questions Regarding Unfair Election Process

On April 24, 2014 at least 7 of the 17 student candidates for UH Hilo student government were ‘disqualified’ by the UH Hilo Student Association Election Committee consisting of Yuri Zhuraw and Joyce Pulega Auau under the advice of Campus Center Director Ellen Kusano.

These students have filed an ethics complaint against the UH Hilo Election Committee.

These students have filed an ethics complaint against the UH Hilo Election Committee.

We feel that we have been treated unfairly. We ran a campaign on a platform of reform and transparency at UH Hilo. We believe we are being falsely accused and unfairly treated as a result. Because Ellen Kusano and the Election Committee have been unwilling to answer questions previously from student candidates we will again ask these questions to UH Hilo, students, and to the public:


You claim 5 of us were disqualified for violating the following the election code:


Candidates and/or their supporters shall neither actively campaign nor allow campaign posters to be displayed within 200 feet of the polling area during the election on April 22 – April 23, 2014 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

1a) Why don’t you give specifics as to how we violated the election code?
1b)  Why were no students running for office warned that they might be in possible violation of the election code?


The voting ended at 5pm on Wednesday.
2a) Where did the ballot box go at that time?
2b) Who had access to it?
2c) Did anybody have access to it alone?
2d) Where is it now?
2e) Have the votes been counted or handled in any other way?
2f) If the results have been counted what is the result?
2g) Were the votes counted before or after you decided to disqualify the UHHSA candidates?


As far as we know, you disqualified 7 of the 17 candidates running for UHHSA office, 2 of whom were running unopposed.

3a) Was anybody else outside of the 7 people disqualified?
3b) If so for what reason?


One student candidate, Ardena Saarinen, was disqualified the day after the election. She had been confirmed via email on April 10, 2014 as a candidate prior to her notice of disqualification. The Election Committee claims that was that she had not completed her initial paperwork correctly. She claims to have filled out her paperwork correctly and asked for what specific paperwork she did not fill out properly and you do not respond to her.
4a) Why are you not responding to her?
4b) Do you think it is fair to disqualify a confirmed candidate the day after the election after they were previously confirmed?


From the UHHSA Election Code:


Voting shall be done by secret ballot.

5a) In past years at UH Hilo students were given a voting booth of sorts to vote in private. Why weren’t students given a private place to vote this year?
5b) Why were election officials verbally influencing students to vote by telling the students they could not reference their private handouts?
5c) Why did election officials encourage students that they “don’t have to mark a vote for a candidate who is uncontested because it doesn’t matter?”


In the election packet it states,

 ‘Consider making hand outs or stickers for campaigning on the VOTING days.’

6a) Why were students being told they could not reference the handout?
6b) Why did Yuri Zhuraw physically grab the handout out of students’ hands?
6c) Why did Ellen Kusano tell Chantelle Masreghy that Chanetelle was acting ‘unethically’ by handing out handouts over 200ft from the poll on election day?
6d) Why did Ellen Kusano advise the election committee initially to tell student voters they could not use the election handout? When candidates objected to Mrs. Kusano arbitrary rule she went to the election table and said (recording available),

‘’If a student comes with one of these[candidate hand outs] please ask them if they will throw it away because it is improper in the voting area, if they don’t want to they don’t have to.’
– UHHSA Adviser Ellen Kusano

6e) Why did Ellen Kusano advise the UHHSA election committee to tell students something that is not in the election code as if it is a rule?


You disqualified one person, Melinda Alles, who was running unopposed for Treasurer. Melinda was on our handout but wasn’t actively campaigning.
7a) Why did you disqualify her?


We believe a hostile working environment is being created by Campus Center Director Ellen Kusano. We believe we are being treated unfairly by the UHHSA Election Committee consisting of Yuri Zhuraw and Joyce Pulega Auau under the advice of Ellen Kusano.

In conclusion we ask:

1) that the votes be counted fairly,
2) that the Election Committee be censured for their unfair behavior,
3) that Ellen Kusano be censured for fostering a hostile and unfair institutional environment,
4) that Ellen Kusano not be allowed to have influence over students in the future,
5) that the legitimate UHHSA be allowed to take office May 1, 2014,
6) that the new UHHSA have the right to:
a) hire a professional student government adviser,
b) hire a professional financial clerk,
c) be allowed autonomy from Ellen Kusano and Campus Center.

Respectfully submitted,


Disqualified UH Hilo Student Candidates:
Glenn Aanstoos          Ryu Kakazu
Josh Boranian             Chantelle Mashreghy
Jarod Campbell           Ardena Saarinen


Professional Writing, Filmmaking Workshops at Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i

Presenting a rare opportunity for island filmmakers and writers to learn from and be inspired by some of the best in the business, Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i offers three relevant workshops, presented by top entertainment industry professionals, May 22-25, 2014.

Ron Osborn. Photos courtesy Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai'i.

Ron Osborn. Photo courtesy Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i.

Writer, producer Ron Osborn (DUCKMAN, MEET JOE BLACK, THE WEST WING, MOONLIGHTING) has been nominated for seven Emmys, three Cable Ace Awards and two Writers Guild Awards. He has written pilots for every primetime American network, as well as for such cable networks as Showtime, FX, USA, ABC Family, Lifetime, and Disney. Osborn’s workshop, “The First 10 Pages,” focuses on the most important part of any script, and how to grab readers from the opening moments. Sat., May 24, 8:30-11 a.m. in the Lehua Theatre, $50.

Jennifer Grisanti

Jennifer Grisanti

Jen Grisanti, writing instructor for NBC’s “Writers on the Verge,” and acclaimed story/career consultant, will talk about “Adding Fiction to the Truth in Your Writing.” Since she launched Jen Grisanti Consultancy in 2008, Grisanti has worked with over 500 writers specializing in television, features and novels with numerous successes.

Jennifer Grisanti, Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi, and Actress Eloise Mumford (The River) at the 2012 Big Island Film Festival

Jennifer Grisanti, Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi, and Actress Eloise Mumford (The River) at the 2012 Big Island Film Festival

Her approach emphasizes the use of a writer’s personal history and emotional “gold” to key in to universal dilemmas, failures and successes that immediately connect with an audience. Sun., May 25, 8:30-11 a.m. in the Lehua Theatre, $50.

Advance registration is required by May 20, and registration forms may be found online at www.bigislandfilmfestival.com

Peter Caranicas

Peter Caranicas

In a special session, Peter Caranicas of Variety will discuss “Trade Journalism as it relates to Film & Television” on Fri., May 23, 9:45- 11 a.m. As Deputy Editor, Caranicas is responsible for the features sections (published over 200 times a year), covering film festivals, up-and-comers, industry anniversaries, in-depth analysis of awards shows such as the Oscars and the Emmys, and key players in entertainment. Immediately following Filmmaker Orientation in the Lehua Theatre, Caranicas’ presentation is open to the public at a cost of $20 per person.

Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i is a celebration of narrative filmmaking, May 22-26, 2014. Events include free family films under the stars at The Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies and nightly double features at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (free parking), networking opportunities, celebrity receptions, awards brunch and a closing night “Best of the Fest.” Best of the Fest is a fundraising event for Hawai‘i Island Food Basket, with WILLIE K in concert, silent auction for the Tripler Army Medical Center’s Fisher House for military families, and the audience-voted Best Feature and Best Short films of BIFF 2014.

Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP and many others. For more information, complete schedule of events and to purchase tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call 808-883-0394.

DLNR Announces Changes To Coral And Live Rock Rules

The Department of Land and Natural Resources today announced that amendments to Hawaii Administrative Rules, Chapter 13-95, Rules Regulating the Taking and Selling of Certain Marine Resources, will take effect Thursday, May 1, 2014.

Kauai sediment coral die off

Kauai sediment coral die off

The purpose of the amendments is to strengthen the rules and stiffen penalties for intentional or negligent large-scale damage to stony coral and live rock, such as by vessel groundings, introduction of sediments, biological contaminants, and other pollutants. It remains unlawful for any person to take, break, or damage any stony coral or live rock. It’s also unlawful to sell stony coral or live rocks.

Coral damaged by a boat anchor. Division of Aquatic Resources photo.

Coral damaged by a boat anchor. Division of Aquatic Resources photo.

“These new rules tighten up the state’s ability to enforce damage to an essential habitat that provides millions of dollars in ecosystem services through fishing and tourism,” said Frazer McGilvray, administrator for the Division of Aquatic Resources.

Coral damaged by sunken or grounded vessel. Division of Aquatic Resources photo.

Coral damaged by sunken or grounded vessel. Division of Aquatic Resources photo.

Stony corals are defined as any species belonging to the Order Scleractinia (marine corals which generate a hard skeleton) that are native to the Hawaiian Islands. All reef corals, including mushroom corals, belong to this order.

Sewage spill on coral. Division of Aquatic Resources photo.

Sewage spill on coral. Division of Aquatic Resources photo.

Live rock is defined as any natural hard substrate to which marine life is visibly attached or affixed. Virtually every hard substrate in nearshore waters has something living attached to it.

The full text of the rule may be obtained online at http://state.hi.us/dlnr/dar/rules/ch95.pdf or at any Division of Aquatic Resources office.

First Annual “Run To Honor” 5K Run/2 Mile Walk and “Click It or Ticket” Keiki Fun Run

The public is invited to sign up now to participate in the first annual “Run To Honor” 5K Run/2 Mile Walk and “Click It or Ticket” Keiki Fun Run, which takes place on Saturday, May 17, at Liliʻuokalani Gardens in Hilo.

HPDBadgeThe event is being held in recognition of Police Week, which honors the memory of officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice and to promote crime prevention through the use of Crime Stoppers. This family event includes food, entertainment, informational and activity booths, prizes, a water slide and more.

Proceeds will go to establish a Crime Stoppers/Police scholarship for Criminal Justice majors at Hawaiʻi Community College.

Entry fee for the 5K Run/2 Mile Walk is $25 dollars and includes a T-shirt. The Keiki Fun Run is free and also includes a T-shirt.

Registration forms are now being accepted and will be accepted up to the day of the event.

Registration forms are available at police stations island wide, on the Police Department’s website at www.hawaiipolice.com and at the links below:

Run To Honor Registration 2014 (PDF 329 KB)

Run to Honor Registration 2014 (HTML)

Keiki Fun Run Registration 2014 (PDF 302 KB)

Keiki Fun Run Registration 2014 (HTML)

The 5K Run and 2 Mile Walk start at 8:30 a.m. on May 17 with check-in and early registration from 7-8 a.m. The Keiki Fun Run for ages 6-14 starts at 9:30 a.m. on the same date with check-in and early registration from 7-9:15 a.m.

If participants prefer, they may check in and pickup up a T-shirt and number between May 14 and May 16 from 1-3 p.m. at the Hilo police station at 349 Kapiʻolani Street.

For more information, you may call Community Policing Lieutenant Darren Horio at 961-2350 or email him at dhorio@co.hawaii.hi.us.

District 4 on Hawaii Island to Receive Almost a Half-Billion Dollars in Capital Improvement Project Funding

Residents of the new North Hawai‘i Senate District 4 were assured they will receive a larger share back of the General Excise Taxes (GET) and Transient Accommodation Taxes (TAT) that this community generates as a result of the passage on final reading today of the 2014 Legislature’s supplemental budget bill, according to District 4 Senator Malama Solomon.

Sen. Malama Solomon

Sen. Malama Solomon

With the passage of this biennium budget (HB 1700 CD1), Sen. District 4 will receive close to a half-billion dollars in Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) — $380M in the first year of the biennium and $100M in this, the second year of the biennium budget, said Sen. Solomon.

District 4 includes Hilo, Hāmākua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikōloa, Puakō, Kawaihae and North Kona.

“Up until these past three years, our large district has not received back a fair share of the revenue it generates. After more than 15 years of serious neglect, coupled with population growth and shifting economic and community priorities, our District’s public facilities – schools, parks, agricultural infrastructure, roads and hospitals – are aging and some are in alarming disrepair.  I am very grateful that we were able to secure the support of Senate and House colleagues to fund repairs and, in some cases, make dramatic improvements that will both create short term construction employment, and also enhance quality of life, protect the environment, and address serious health, safety and social needs,” said Sen. Solomon.

Highlights of CIP funding to District 4 include:


  • $1.7M Waimea Irrigation System Improvements
  • $1M Lower Hāmākua Ditch Watershed Project
  • $3.5M Waimea Homestead Community Agricultural Park (Waimea Nui)


  • $9.89M Waimea Middle School (construction and equipment for a 9-Classroom Science-Technology Building)
  • $1,7M Kanu O Ka ‘Āina Learning ‘Ohana (construction of a new community recreation center emergency shelter that would double as a school-community cafeteria and recreation center)
  • $2M Honoka‘a Elementary School (construction of student drop off and parking area)
  • $2M Honoka‘a High School (athletic facility improvements)
  • $300,000 Kealakehe High School (construction of an all‐weather and synthetic track)


  • $33M College of Pharmacy (a new instructional facility)
  • $2.5M Astronomy (modernization and repair of 2.2 meter telescope on Mauna Kea)
  • $500,000 College of Agricultural, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (establish the Hilo International Flight Training Center)


  • $60,000 Kailapa Community Association in Kawaihae (plan for a resource center)


  • $250,000 The Food Basket, Inc. (repairs and maintenance)


  • $1M West Hawai‘i Community Health Center


  • $200,000 Hawai‘i Island Humane Society (construction of the Hawaii Island Animal Community Center)


  • $3,000,000 Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Structure Improvements and Dam Compliance
  • $8,000,000 Waimea District/Regional Park Plans (A 1:1 match with the County of Hawai‘i)


  • $1.9M Kona International Airport at Keahole (south ramp taxiway and ramp improvements)
  • $500,000 Hilo Harbor (modifications to improve navigational safety and operational efficiencies)
  • $2M Wai‘aka Stream Bridge replacement and realignment at Kawaihae Road
  • $2M Highway 130 and Homestead Road intersection improvements
  • $1M Saddle Road Extension from the Hilo terminus to the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway
  • $1M Sidewalk Improvements to Māmane Street in Honoka‘a
  • $1M Traffic Operational Improvements to existing intersections and highway facilities

Mamalahoa Highway

  • $6.2M Drainage improvements by Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Ranch Road
  • $4.5M Drainage improvements at Kāwā
  • $810,000 Rehabilitation or replacement of Hīlea Stream Bridge

Belt Road

  • $500,000 Rehabilitation or Replacement of Pāhoehoe Stream Bridge
  • $4.9M Drainage improvements by Hakalau Bridge
  • $1.3M Rehabilitation or replacement of Nīnole Bridge


  • $2M Youth Challenge Academy (upgrade and renovation of Keaukaha Military Reservation)





Big Island Police Identify Body Found This Weekend in Hilo

A body found in Hilo over the weekend has been identified as 48-year-old Jodi L. Masutomi of Hilo. She was identified through fingerprints during an autopsy conducted Tuesday (April 29).

HPDBadgeThe autopsy revealed that her injuries were consistent with a fall from a height. The cause of death is being deferred, however, pending a toxicology report.

A fisherman discovered the body along the shoreline off Hawaiʻi Belt Road in the Wainaku area shortly before midnight Saturday (April 26).

Police have not been able to locate Masutomi’s car, a tan 1997 Toyota Camry four-door sedan, license plate HXP 413.

Police ask anyone with information about the car or anything else about this case to contact Detective Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or nserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 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.

Hawaii Residents Can See the International Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds). It will be visible beginning tonight, Tue Apr 29 at 7:21 PM.

International Space Station
It will be visible for approximately 4 minutes.  Max Height: 61 degrees, and it will appear in the West Northwest part of the sky and disappear to the South Southeast.

Hawaii Volcano Update – Lava Continues to Advance Through Remote Forest

Lava overflows Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, Kahaualeʻa 2 flow remains active

Lava flows from two different vents in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater have spilled out of the crater and down the flanks of the cone over the past week. This photo shows the new flow, easy to identify with its light gray color, originating from the south spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater (the spatter cone is visible as a bump on the crater floor). This flow was still active this morning and had traveled a short distance southeast. Another flow, originating from the north spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, is not visible in this photograph.
The north spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater fed a new flow, starting Tuesday evening, that covered much of the northern part of the crater floor and spilled over the crater rim towards the north. The right side of the north spatter cone has been present for many months, but the left side, which was spattering this morning, is new as of this week.
The lava flow from the north spatter cone ran over old cinder deposits from the early fountaining phases of Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the 1980s. Cinders sticking to the front of the pāhoehoe lava were lifted up as the front of the pāhoehoe toes inflated.
The northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater remained active, but the lava pond (featured in many recent photographs posted here) has crusted over, leaving only a small circular opening venting gas.
A closer look at the small opening at the top of the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. Although the lava pond is crusted over, fluid lava is likely present just a short distance below the opening. Delicate lava stalactites have formed just inside the rim.
The lava flow from the north spatter cone, in Puʻu ʻŌʻō, began on Tuesday night and came close to the north rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, where our webcams are situated. Because of this proximity, several of the webcams and other pieces of equipment were moved to higher ground on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
Despite the recent changes in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater over the past week, the Kahaualeʻa 2 lava flow remains active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and continues to advance slowly through remote forest. The active flow front today was 8.3 km (5.2 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible near the top of the photograph.

Skydive Hawaii #Instagram Photo Contest

Aloha! We are excited to announce our first Instagram photo contest.

skydive hawaii instagram contestBest photo will win a complementary tandem skydive credited to their skydivehawaii.com account.

Here’s how to enter:
1. Follow @skydivehawaii on Instagram.
2. Post a photo of your skydiving experience with Skydive Hawaii.
3. Tag your photo with ‪#‎skydivehawaiicontest‬

Since this is our first contest, the “best” photo will be the one with the most likes by the end of the contest period. We will only accept new photo postings. Contest ends on June 22nd. Winner will be publicly announced July 1st. You may ask questions on this thread.

Good luck!

Paniolo Avenue Extension Opens in Waikoloa

Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi today joined the Waikoloa Village community to celebrate the Paniolo Avenue extension with a blessing that celebrated another new road in West Hawai’i, and fulfillment of a long-standing promise to the Waikoloa community.

Paniolo Ave Extension

The nearly three-quarter mile long road was built by landowner Waikoloa Heights Land Investors, whose principals are Bruce Bell and Jim Zurbuchen. Waikoloa Heights Land Investors agreed to complete the project at the county’s request.

“Two promises were made nearly 26 years ago,” Mayor Kenoi said. “Those promises were that the county would build affordable housing for Waikoloa Beach Resort workers, and that Paniolo Avenue would be extended. Today those promises have been fulfilled.”

The road extends from the Ho’oko Street traffic light near Waikoloa School to the Kamakoa Nui subdivision and Kamakoa Nui Park.

The extension of Paniolo Avenue was first promised in March 1988, when former landowner Transcontinental Development deeded to the county 300 acres to meet an affordable housing requirement for Waikoloa Beach Resort. That deed agreement included a requirement that the Paniolo Avenue extension be built within five years. The obligation to construct the road passed to present landowner Waikoloa Heights Land Investors in July 1990.

As the county completed its first affordable housing units in Kamakoa Nui, the County expressed to WHLI the need for the Paniolo Avenue extension. WHLI agreed late last year to complete an interim road in conjunction with its overall plans for the Waikoloa Heights residential subdivision.

In the years ahead, the two-lane road constructed by Goodfellow Brothers Inc. will be widened to a four-lane road with connections to Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway and Kawaihae Road.

Commentary – Young and Sober Club First Meeting Pushed Back… Hit By Drunk Driver on Way to Meeting

I would like to announce the first meeting of the Young and Sober Club will be Saturday, May 3, at 3PM at Panaewa Zoo. This group is a social gathering of people ages 16-30 who are drug, alcohol and tobacco free. With all the focus on legalizing marijuana, people forget that you don’t need to be stoned to have fun. The Young and Sober Club is designed to give young people a choice.

This is the second time we are having a first meeting of the club. The last time we were going to meet, a couple of weeks ago, I was hit by a drunk driver at the Pahoa traffic light intersection. How’s that for ironies! Hit by a drunk driver on the way to a Young and Sober Club meeting!

Fortunately, nobody in my car was hurt, although there is more than $10,000 damage to my car. The drunk driver was arrested for DUI and his drunk passenger was sent to the hospital.

At first, our social club was to be for people 18-30 who want to meet other sober friends and have social gatherings where you aren’t having to say no to offers of alcohol, weed, or worse. Growing up in Hawaii is a challenge for someone who is drug and alcohol free. You can smell weed as you pass cars or go to the beach. It’s everywhere, and the pressure to use it is high. Young people need to have healthy ways of having fun, too, and meet other young people who are sober.

But we decided to lower the age to 16 since that’s the age when people start driving. Auto accidents are the number one killer of young people. And the recent accident I just had is a reminder that being sober is not only a personal decision. It affects everyone you come in contact with, especially on the road. (By the way, the guy who hit me was over 30.) Parents are welcome to attend our meetings.

We plan on meeting at different interesting places each week and do all sorts of activities, depending on the interests of the members. This is a FREE event. So come and check us out at the zoo this Saturday at 3. For more information and to find out about future meetings, call me at 443-4750.

Solomon Singer

Nobel Prize Winners in Medicine to Speak at UH Cancer Center Monday

Co-recipients of the 2011 Nobel Prize in medicine will headline a roster of experts focusing on bridging the U.S. and Asia in the fight against cancer during this year’s Weinman Symposium at the University of Hawai’i Cancer Center.

The Symposium takes place on May 5 in the Sullivan Conference Center at the Cancer Center in Kaka’ako, and is free and open to the public. The speaker roster includes Ann Chao, PhD, who grew up on the Big Island and today serves as Director of Cancer Research Programs, East Asia, with the Center for Global Health of the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Ann Chao

Dr. Ann Chao

“This year’s theme highlights cancer as a global health issue, and shows the pivotal role Hawaii plays in the international efforts to prevent, detect, and treat cancer,” said Dr. Michele Carbone, director of the Cancer Center. “Researchers in Hawai’i collaborate with scientists across the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific region, and that benefits everyone.”

Dr. Jules A. Hoffmann

Dr. Jules A. Hoffmann

The Nobel laureates speaking at the symposium are Jules A. Hoffmann, PhD, professor of Integrative Biology at the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Studies and an Exceptional Class Research Director (emeritus) at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in Strasbourg, France, and Dr. Bruce A. Beutler, Regental Professor and director for the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense, and holder of the Raymond and Ellen Willie Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research, in Honor of Laverne and Raymond Willie, Sr., at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Dr. Bruce A. Beutler

Dr. Bruce A. Beutler

Drs. Hoffmann, Beutler and Ralph M. Steinman won the 2011 Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology for their work on discovering underlying mechanisms that trigger activation of innate immunity. The Nobel committee cited their work for opening up new fields of research that could improve vaccination and treatment against infection, cancer and inflammatory diseases.

The Weinman Symposium is supported by the generosity of the Weinman Foundation. In 2010, Barry and Virginia Weinman of Honolulu created the Weinman Foundation Fund for Innovation at the UH Cancer Center with a $1.7 million gift. This fund makes it possible for the Center to invite prominent leaders in cancer research to Hawaiʻi every year. These globally-recognized experts are selected for their work in cancer research and its successful translation into therapy and care. While here, they work with the Cancer Center and establish research collaborations with the faculty.

The Cancer Center faculty winner of the $50,000 Weinman Innovator Award, which recognizes researchers developing innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to treating cancer, will be announced at the event.

The UH Cancer Center is one of 68 research institutions designated by the National Cancer Institute. Affiliated with the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, the center is dedicated to eliminating cancer through research, education, and improved patient care. Learn more at www.uhcancercenter.org. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UHCancerCenter. Follow us on Twitter @UHCancerCenter.

Hawaii Public Charter School Network Announces Complete List of Awardees

Hawaii Public Charter School Network (HPCSN) proudly announced the complete list of awardees who will be honored at the 2013-2014 Hawaii Charter Schools Awards on Thursday, May 15, 2014.

Hawaii Public Charter Schools Network“We are excited to host our third annual Hawaii Charter School Awards dinner and to be able to recognize the direct and meaningful impact that public charter schools and those involved with public charter schools have in their community,” said Lynn Finnegan, executive director, Hawaii Public Charter Schools Network.

The final list includes three peer-nominated categories, Governing Board Member of the Year, Leader of the Year and Circle of Teaching Excellence.  Winners are as follows:

  • HPCSN Legislators of the Year – Senator Jill Tokuda and Representative Ken Ito
  • HCPSN Community Partner of the Year – Karen Street, First Insurance Company of Hawaii
  • Charter School of the Year – Na Wai Ola Waters of Life Public Charter School, Mountain View, Hawaii
  • Most Improved Charter School – Kamaile Academy Public Charter School, Waianae, Oahu
  • Creating New Best Practices – Kona Pacific Public Charter School, Kealakekua, Hawaii and Ke Kula o Nawahiokalaniopuu Iki Lab Public Charter School, Keaau, Hawaii
  • Governing Board Member of the Year – K. Kehau Glassco, Ke Kula o Samuel Kamakau Laboratory Public Charter School, Kaneohe, Hawaii
  • Leader of the Year – Mahina Paishon-Duarte, Halau Ku Mana Public Charter School, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Circle of Teaching Excellence – Jonathan Kissida, Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science, Pahoa, Hawaii and Leesa Foreman, West Hawaii Explorations Academy Public Charter School, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

The dinner is open to the public and tickets can be purchased by phone at 808-380-6403 or online at 2014hawaiicharterschoolawards.eventbrite.com.


Hawaii Supreme Court Takes Oral Argument to Big Island

Today, the Hawaii Supreme Court heard oral arguments at the Kealakehe High School Gymnasium before an audience of approximately 600 students from Kealakehe High School, Kohala High School, Konawaena High School, Kau High School, Kua O Ka La New Century Public Charter School, Makua Lani Christian Academy and West Hawaii Explorations Academy, as well as members of the public.

Approximately 600 students watched a Hawaii Supreme Court oral argument in Kailua-Kona. After the proceeding, the students had the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session with the justices.

Approximately 600 students watched a Hawaii Supreme Court oral argument in Kailua-Kona. After the proceeding, the students had the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session with the justices.

It was part of the Judiciary’s Courts in the Community outreach program, which educates students and informs the general public about the Judiciary’s role in government and its function in resolving disputes in a democratic society.

The court heard oral arguments in Molfino v. Yuen. The oral argument was followed by two separate question-and-answer sessions for the students; one with the attorneys and another with the five justices.

“We wanted to take an oral argument, which would have otherwise been held in Honolulu, and bring it to the West Hawaii community. This gives students the opportunity to go beyond the textbooks and experience a Supreme Court oral argument in person,” said Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald. “We thank the teachers and the West Hawaii Bar Association for their time, commitment, and partnership in making today possible.”

To prepare for the oral argument, the participating juniors and seniors from each high school studied a curriculum developed by the Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center and the Students for Public Outreach and Civic Education of the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law. The students’ study was followed by a moot court activity facilitated by members of the West Hawaii Bar Association. The Hawaii State Bar Association and the Hawaii State Bar Foundation generously provided the students with lunches and transportation to and from Kealakehe High School.

RIP Braddah Dennis Kamakahi

I’m saddened to learn that Hawaii has lost a legend in musical history here in Hawaii today.

Rest In Peace Rev. Dennis Kamakahi.

I took this picture of him in 2012 with Stephen Inglis after they won a Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Slack Key Album of the Year:

WAIMAKA HELELEI, Dennis Kamakahi and Stephen Inglis (Aumakua)

Stephen Inglis and Dennis Kamakahi in 2012 after winning a Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Slack Key Album of the Year

Hawaii Teacher Wins National Distinguished Principal Award

A 20-year veteran administrator with the Hawaii State Department of Education has been named the state’s top principal for 2014 by the Hawaii Elementary and Middle School Administrators Association (HEMSAA). Duwayne Abe, who has been principal at Salt Lake Elementary School since 2002, was selected as Hawaii’s National Distinguished Principal at a weekend luncheon at the Hale Koa Hotel.


Duwayne Abe

The other nominees were:

•Rochelle Mahoe (Honolulu District, Noelani Elementary),
•Stacie Kunihisa (Leeward District, Kanoelani Elementary),
•Pua McElhaney (Windward District, Enchanted Lake Elementary), and
•Sherry Gonsalves (Kauai District, Kilauea Elementary)

“Principals are vital to every successful educational system,” said Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe. “Each of these administrators has demonstrated exceptional leadership in their communities and we are sincerely grateful to them for the enormous efforts they put in to ensuring our students and teachers succeed at the highest levels.”

Abe has served in an administrative capacity at Salt Lake Elementary since 1998, when he was appointed vice principal. He was appointed principal in 2002. Prior to Salt Lake Elementary, he served as vice principal at Miliani Mauka. Salt Lake Elementary enrolls 800 students, and Abe attributes his school’s achievements to a focus on student learning and staff success. Currently, Salt Lake Elementary School has five Nationally Board Certified teachers on its staff.

“Every school faces the challenge of how to address the diverse student population,” said Principal Abe. “Making sure that all students are learning and making gains toward reaching their potential is our goal at Salt Lake Elementary.”

Abe and other award-winning principals will travel to Washington, D.C., in October to attend a two-day event honoring their accomplishments. The event will include opportunities to discuss issues current education issues, and a black-tie awards dinner and dance.

The National Distinguished Principals Program is sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and HEMSAA. The National Distinguished Principals Program reflects the key role that a principal plays in shaping the learning environment within a school.