Big Island Police Officers Recognized as “Officer of the Month” for March and April

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized Officer Blayne Matsui as “Officer of the Month” for March and Officer Bronson Kaliloa as “Officer of the Month” for April.

Blayne Matsui Hilo Exchange Club board President Jay Kimura presents an "Officer of the Month" award to Officer Blayne Matsui.

Blayne Matsui Hilo Exchange Club board President Jay Kimura presents an “Officer of the Month” award to Officer Blayne Matsui.

Officer Matsui was honored for two separate traffic stops in February that led to arrests for various charges, including auto theft and bail jumping. Officer Kaliloa was honored for his role in the successful apprehension of a six-time convicted felon who was in possession of a loaded firearm. Both officers are assigned to the Puna District.

On the morning of February 14, Officer Matsui was patrolling Highway 11 above Mountain View when he noticed a suspicious flatbed truck backing up to a pile of gravel used by the State Highways Division for road maintenance. He initiated a traffic stop on the truck and discovered that the occupant had an outstanding no-bail bench warrant. He investigated and found that the vehicle had been reported stolen several months earlier during a burglary in Kaʻū. Officer Matsui arrested the suspect. The stolen truck was recovered and returned to its owner and detectives were later assigned to follow up on felony charges.

Four days later, while on patrol before dawn in an isolated area of Hawaiian Acres, Officer Matsui initiated a traffic stop on a car with an expired registration and safety sticker. As the car stopped, the front passenger jumped out and fled on foot. Matsui detained the driver and another passenger and learned that the driver had an outstanding $50,000 bail bench warrant. He placed the driver under arrest. He later also issued him numerous traffic citations.

In addition to these traffic stops that illustrate Matsui’s awareness, initiative and ability to spot suspicious activity, he has also displayed his dedication to duty by having perfect attendance over the past year, said Sergeant William Derr, who nominated Matsui for the award.

Bronson Kaliloa Hilo Exchange Club board President Jay Kimura presents an "Officer of the Month" award to Officer Bronson Kaliloa.

Bronson Kaliloa Hilo Exchange Club board President Jay Kimura presents an “Officer of the Month” award to Officer Bronson Kaliloa.

Officer Kaliloa’s case took place on April 2. Shortly after midnight on on that date, Puna Patrol officers responded to a home in the Makuʻu Hawaiian Homes subdivision on a report of a man brandishing a rifle and discharging it into the air. Upon arrival at the scene, a woman informed officers that the unknown man had come onto the property with what appeared to be a rifle and said he was looking for another individual. He shot one round into the air and fled on foot prior to police arrival. Officers made extensive checks in the surrounding area but were unable to immediately locate the suspect.

Around 4 a.m. that morning, officers were summoned back to property after the woman called to report that the man had returned and was now throwing rocks at her house. While searching for the suspect on foot, Kaliloa heard noises and movement in the heavy brush area behind the woman’s house. As he went to investigate the source of the sound, he detected a freshly used trail. He and another officer then made further checks in the darkened area and discovered a man hiding in heavy brush.

Immediately after ordering him out of the brush and securing him, Officer Kaliloa located a loaded sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun on the ground near where the man had been hiding. The suspect appeared to be under the influence of some type of illicit drug, which could have escalated the situation and presented greater risks to the officers. The suspect was arrested and later charged with six firearm offenses, three of which were felonies. His bail was set at $63,000.

According to Sergeant Daylan Asuncion, who nominated Kaliloa for the award, his superb investigative skills in capturing a dangerous convicted felon with a loaded firearm prevented a potentially violent end to the incident.

As “Officer of the Month,” Matsui and Kalilo are each eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

The East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi.

“Revenge Porn” Bill Clears Conference Committee

Vice Speaker John Mizuno (Kamehameha Heights, Kalihi Valley, and Lower Kalihi), the author of HB1750, the revenge porn bill, provided, “I applaud the House and Senate Judiciary Chairs and conferees for passing HB1750, to make it a crime to distribute, transmit or display photos, images or videos of sexual representation or nude photos without the consent of the person represented.  With technology comes different crimes, today our Judiciary conferees passed a very important and progressive bill to address a gap in the law and criminalize such offensive crimes.”

HB1750Mizuno added, “The consequences of posting private images with the intent to hurt the person in such publications is degrading, humiliating, career threatening and at times may cause the person to commit suicide.”  A 15-year old girl in California committed suicide after nude photos were posted of her and a 17-year old Brazilian girl, who was reportedly the victim of revenge porn, also committed suicide.

HB1750 will go to a full House and Senate vote on Tuesday, April 29, 2014.

According to Rep. Mizuno, “The Hawaii State Legislature will have the opportunity to pass major legislation to address this type of hate crime. I believe my colleagues will support this bill and after it goes to the Governor, we could become the third state in the nation to have such legislation, behind California and New Jersey.”

The Brothers Cazimero Return to the Big Island

Back by popular demand, The Brothers Cazimero will perform at Kahilu Theater in Waimea, on Saturday, May 10 at 7 p.m. This contemporary Hawaiian music duo has captivated audiences across the world with their melodious sound for over 35 years.

The Brother's Cazimero

The Brother’s Cazimero (Photo courtesy of Mountain Apple Records)

After performing at Kahilu every presenting season since 1982, this is The Brothers Cazimero’s first performance back on the Kahilu stage following the theatre’s intermission. Robert Cazimero praises “I applaude the efforts of those who have helped Kahilu Theatre return, open in Waimea. It is a wonderful thing and we truly all reap the benefits from such worthwhile and arduous work…E O Waimea.”

The mastery of Robert Cazimero on bass and Roland Cazimero on twelve-string guitar is paired with fluid vocals for a sensational night of Hawaiian music. The Brothers Cazimero have charmed sold-out shows from Carnegie Hall to Tokyo with their showmanship and humor. Audiences of all generations are moved by the aloha felt in their music.

Honored with 25 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards and a Grammy nomination, “The Caz” have released over 35 recordings and 3 DVDs. In 2006, Robert and Roland were inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame.

Getting their start amidst the Hawaiian cultural renaissance of the 1970s, The Brothers Cazimero led the Hawaiian tradition of mele, or song, forward with a modern sound. Today, they continue to infuse elements of the past into their presentation of songs, chants, and dance of their ancestors. Robert Cazimero is also the visionary and kumu hula of Halau Na Kamalei, the first all-male hula halau or school. Members of the halau often accompany the brothers on stage as dancers and as a choral group.

Tickets are $20, $34, $44 or $64 depending on seats. Tickets are available at or call 885-6868.

Coffee Experts Appearing at Ka’u Coffee Festival

Leaders of the specialty coffee industry are traveling to the state’s largest agricultural district in early May to taste and see all the effort that goes into award-winning Ka‘u coffee.

They include a leading voice for seed-to-cup sustainability, Mark Inman of California, and Blake Hanacek of Canada, a proponent of sustainable rural development and agribusiness management.  The men headline the Kaʻu Coffee Festival’s annual reverse trade mission.

Kau Coffee FestivalThe reverse trade mission is part of the sixth Ka‘u Coffee Festival May 10-11 at the Pahala Community Center. The coffee experts learn first-hand about Ka‘u coffee during Saturday festival activities, including guided tastings, farm tours and the opportunity to “talk story” with growers at their booths during the day-long ho‘olauea. On Sunday, the men give guest lectures to local coffee farmers at the annual Ka‘u Coffee College.

“This strategic business initiative creates collaborative relationships for our Ka‘u growers while promoting Ka‘u as a premium coffee-growing origin,” says Chris Manfredi, lead festival organizer and president of the statewide Hawai‘i Farm Bureau. “We’re pleased and proud that notable industry leaders come to Ka‘u to share in our community.”

Inman has been a major voice in the specialty coffee industry for sustainable agriculture, environmental stewardship and social justice and served as president of the Specialty Coffee Association of America in 2008. His campaign to improve conditions in the coffee industry has taken him to local U.S. classrooms, the remote hills of Nicaragua and the floor of the United Nations. Since 2010, Inman served as president of World Coffee Events, which manages seven international coffee competitions, including the World Barista Championship. He is a trader at OLAM Specialty Coffee.

Hanacek is the founder and CEO of A.G.R.O. Roasters and AGRO Café and has extensively researched the current methods of production and consumption of specialty coffee. He has worked and studied in multiple countries and has met with international growers to discuss his Crop-to-Cup method. An accredited roaster, Hanacek has 5,000 hours behind a variety of coffee roasters.

In addition, Robert Curtiss, acting plant pest control manager with the Division of Plant Industry at the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, will give a presentation Sunday at the Ka‘u Coffee College. Serving as the entomologist for West Hawai‘i, Curtiss has experience working with insect taxonomy, semiochemicals and insect biological control.

In its fourth year, the reverse trade mission has hosted numerous other specialty coffee gurus including George Howell of Terroir Coffee, Skip Fay of Dunn Bros Coffee, James Freeman of Blue Bottle Coffee, Anthony Carroll of Starbucks, Jeff Taylor of PT’s Coffee Roasting Company, Po-Jung Hsieh of Soaring Phoenix Trading Company and Jim Munson of Brooklyn Roasting Company.

All coffee-industry related activities at the Ka‘u Coffee Festival are open to the general public; some require a fee. The festival is May 2-11 at a variety of location and details on all activities can be found at Call 808-929-9550 or visit

Restricted Access to Electronic Welfare Benefits

Effective February 2014, Temporary Assistance for Need Family (TANF) recipients are restricted from withdrawing their cash benefits at certain types of businesses.

Strip Clubs are no longer allowed to accept

LOL… Folks can’t take out their welfare benefits at strip clubs!

Restricted points of access include automated teller machines (ATM) or point of sale (POS) terminals at liquor stores, casinos, and gaming establishments.  Retail establishments that provide adult-oriented entertainment (performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment) also are restricted locations.

Click to view Statewide locations

Click to view Statewide locations

The policy is an outcome of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-96).   The law was enacted in 2012, but States were given time to determine how to best impose the restriction.  Hawaii came into compliance this year.

The TANF program provides monthly cash benefits to families for food, clothing, shelter, and other essentials. The federally funded program is designed to help families achieve financial self -sufficiency.  Grocery stores and retailers that primarily sell products other than liquor, and restaurants, bars or clubs that serve liquor are exempt from the restriction.

For the purposes of accessing TANF cash benefits, liquor stores are defined as retailers that exclusively or primarily sell liquor.  Gaming establishments mean establishments with a primary purpose of accommodating the wagering of money.  These restrictions have been imposed nationwide.

To qualify for TANF benefits, a family must include children under the age of 19 and earn a total gross income under 185% of the 2006 Federal Poverty Level (FPL). For a household of three persons, that’s a monthly gross income less than $2,941; if the household includes an employable adult net income must be under $610. In households where all adults are disabled, care is required for a disabled household member, or there is a child younger than six months of age, the net income must be under $763 per month.  Effective April 18, 2013, assets were disregarded from the eligibility determination.

Restricted Hawaii Points of Sale

Active Licenses with Nudity (4-14)

Statewide Active Licenses with Liquor (4-14)

Former Hawaii Government Chief and Priest Sued, Victims Respond

A former government chief, who resigned from his position after sexual misconduct allegations, has been sued for child sex abuse from when he was a priest. We are glad that victims are being given a voice and grateful for the brave victim for speaking up.

Marc Alexander

Marc Alexander

As this lawsuit moves forward, we hope more information is revealed about how Marc Alexander was able to keep his position as Homeless Coordinator, despite an email warning of the sexual misconduct allegations against him and despite being removed as a priest in 2011.

Alexander was accused of sexual misconduct with a woman while he was a Catholic priest. We want to know why the Governor’s office did not act immediately after receiving warnings about Alexander. He was allowed to resign for “personal matters” a year later after the allegations were threatened to be made public.

According to the email that was sent the diocese was aware of the allegations and the staff at the governor’s office assumed someone else would handle the situation. It is wrong and dangerous to pass the buck on sexual abuse allegations.

We applaud the courageous survivor who filed this complaint for coming forward and taking this action in the interest of truth, justice, and the protection of children.

While we are grateful for the 2-year window during which Hawaii lifted the statute of limitations for such crimes – a window that has allowed this case to move forward – we believe sexual crimes against children should carry no statute of limitations whatsoever.

Regardless of such limitations, we urge anyone who has suffered, witnessed or suspects similar crimes to come forward and contact secular authorities.

Statement by Joelle Casteix, Southern California Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949-322-7434,

Applicants Wanted for Attorney Disciplinary Board

The Hawaii Supreme Court is seeking applicants for six lawyer and non-lawyer positions on the Disciplinary Board.

JudiciaryThe Board’s duties include overseeing the Office of Disciplinary Counsel which investigates allegations of attorney misconduct and recommends appropriate action to the Hawaii Supreme Court.

The terms will begin on July 1, 2014 and last for three years. The positions are not compensated although travel expenses are reimbursable. Applicants from all islands are being sought.

Qualifications include sound judgment and a willingness and ability to learn the functions and procedures of the Board. The deadline to apply is May 9. 2014. Those interested should submit a letter and resume to the Hawaii Supreme Court, Nominating Committee, c/o Gayle J. Lau, P.O. Box 26436, Honolulu, HI 96825.