Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Congratulates Service Member Graduates, Honors Veterans of Foreign Wars

Leading up to Veterans Day Week, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard spent the day recognizing the service, sacrifice, and accomplishments of active duty service members and veterans of foreign wars at events on Oʻahu.

tulsi-11416This morning, she delivered congratulatory remarks to 48 men and women currently serving in the Army, Navy, and Air Force who just earned their degrees in higher education. She then presented the graduates with honorary certificates. The congresswoman connected with the service members, sharing her own experiences of earning her bachelor’s degree in challenging conditions while serving on her Middle East deployment.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard delivered keynote remarks to over 300 veterans at the Annual Western Region Veterans of Foreign Wars and Auxiliary Conference. She thanked them for their service and sacrifice and spoke strongly about her commitment to fight for the benefits and care that they were promised, have earned, and deserve. She highlighted the recent atrocities in the DOD’s attempts to “claw back” bonuses received in good faith by California National Guardsmen. She applauded veterans continuing their mission of service even after they lay down the uniform as they enter the civilian workforce, take on new leadership and mentorship roles, and volunteer in their communities.

tulsi-11416a“There are too many misperceptions that persist with regards to post-traumatic stress or other challenges that some of our brothers and sisters are dealing with as they make this transition from the military to civilian world,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a twice-deployed Major in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard.

tulsi-11416c“We need to change this culture to one in our society where employers and leaders in our community go first to our veterans to employ them, to serve in positions of leadership, to make a difference in our communities, recognizing that our brothers and sisters in uniform are the best equipped to lead, knowing what it means to be a member of a team, to make decisions under pressure, to put service before self, and to always stay focused on the mission—never accepting failure, never accepting defeat.

tulsi-11416b“Ensuring that each of you, my brothers and sisters in arms, get the respect that you deserve, that you get the care, the services, and the benefits that you have earned through your service and that you’re entitled to, and that you are honored and recognized for the sacrifices that you and your loved ones have made for your country—this is what guides the work that I do every day in Congress.”

Hawaii Judiciary’s Law Library Donates Books to West Maui Community

The Hawaii State Judiciary continues to partner with the Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) to expand legal resources and increase access to justice. Most recently, a collection of American Law Reports (ALR) and ALR Digest from the Third Circuit Court in Kona were donated to the Lahaina Public Library, with financial and technical assistance from the North Beach West Maui Benefit Fund.

Pictured above (from right to left) is Joseph Cardoza, Chief Judge of the Second Judicial Circuit; Madeleine Buchanon, Lahaina Public Library Branch Manager; Jenny Silbiger, State Law Librarian; and Lance Collins, Attorney for North Beach West Maui Benefit Fund celebrating a grassroots effort that will benefit the West Maui community.

Pictured above (from right to left) is Joseph Cardoza, Chief Judge of the Second Judicial Circuit; Madeleine Buchanon, Lahaina Public Library Branch Manager; Jenny Silbiger, State Law Librarian; and Lance Collins, Attorney for North Beach West Maui Benefit Fund celebrating a grassroots effort that will benefit the West Maui community.

This collection of law books will supplement Lahaina Public Library’s current legal holdings which includes the Hawaii Revised Statutes, the Maui County Code, recent editions of the Hawaii Sessions Laws, and the Proceedings of the Charter Commissions of Maui, to allow residents to learn more about the law and conduct further legal research.

“I’m so happy that the Hawaii State Public Library System continues to foster a partnership with the Judiciary to make legal resources available to the public,” said Jenny Silbiger, State Law Librarian at the Supreme Court Law Library. “When we needed to make space for the Kona Self Help Center in our Kona law library, we were excited to hear that that Lahaina was interested in the collection! We appreciate the support from North Beach West Maui Fund for kindly shipping the resources between islands. It is a win-win for everyone!”

In 2015, the Judiciary, HSPLS, and the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii (Legal Aid) partnered together to make self-help interactive court forms available online. Twenty-three of the most frequently used civil legal forms are now available online, accompanied by state-of-the-art software developed by Legal Aid. This software takes users through a step-by-step question and answer process to help complete the forms easily and correctly. For those who do not own a personal computer or have Internet access, the Hawaii State Public Library System provides access to these “A2J” (Access to Justice) self-help forms at locations statewide. For more information, please visit the “Access to Justice” tab Hawaii State Judiciary’s website or LawHelp.org/hi.

Chief Judge of the Second Circuit, Joseph Cardoza, said, “One of the greatest challenges to equal justice today is the lack of effective access to our civil justice system. People who have low or even moderate incomes cannot afford to hire an attorney to represent them in their civil legal cases. As a result, every year in Hawaii, thousands of people must represent themselves in our civil courts and try to navigate a system that is foreign to the average layperson. For this reason, the Judiciary has continued to pursue projects and programs that make Hawaii’s courts more accessible. We are so grateful to the Hawaii State Public Library System for collaborating with us on this mission and helping us improve our reach.”

For more information about the Hawaii State Law Library System, please visit https://hilawlibrary.wordpress.com/

Man and Woman Die in North Kohala Traffic Crash

A man and a woman died in a traffic crash Friday morning (November 4) in North Kohala near the 15-mile marker of Kohala Mountain Road (Route 250).

hpd-badgeThey have been identified as 77-year-old Albert Kita and 83-year-old Dorothy Kita, both of Hāwī.

Responding to an 8:13 a.m. call, police determined that the operator of a 2007 Honda sports-utility vehicle had been traveling north on Kohala Mountain Road, when it failed to negotiate a turn, crossed the centerline of the highway and collided head-on with a 2008 Scion Xb that had been traveling south.

The driver and front seat passenger of the Scion were taken to North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital. The driver, Albert Kita, was pronounced dead at 9:32 a.m. The passenger, Dorothy Kita, was pronounced dead at 12:15 p.m.

The driver of the Honda, a 29-year-old Hāwī woman, was also taken to North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital, where she is being treated for injuries sustained in the collision.

Police believe speed and inattention may have been factors in the collision.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide investigation. Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Kimo Keliipaakaua at 326-4646, extension 229. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

These are the 27th and 28th traffic fatalities this year compared with 16 at this time last year.

Beach Access at Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach Temporarily Closed this Month for Repairs

The existing path and stairway to the Waianapanapa State Park black sand beach and bay will be closed for about 3 weeks, beginning on Monday, November 7, 2016, as a part of the DLNR Division of State Parks’ ongoing capital improvement project on the pedestrian pathways throughout the park. Pailoa Beach will not be accessible during the construction of a new concrete pathway with steps at that location.

Waianapanapa State Park black sand beach and bay

Currently underway is a six-month project that began in September to install a new 4-foot wide walkway along the coastline of the park, which provides access to the scenic lookouts along the coastline. The project will not affect the rental of the 12 cabins in the park. While the campground will remain open, campers should be aware of construction activity in the area during the weekdays from 7 a.m. to around 3 p.m. Estimated completion date for this portion of the project is November 28, 2016, barring any delays due to bad weather.  Maui State Parks office has also notified tour companies on island.

Since this is the only improved way down to the popular beach within the park, the State Parks’ contractor will have personnel on site to keep people out of the work area for safety reasons, and to ensure that the placement of ADA-related forms and concrete work are maintained.

Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement will have a presence at the overlook near the parking lot and cave trail entrances to prevent persons from trying to climb down from the lookout to the beach.  A “no beach access” sign will be posted on the short splinter to the cave loop trail that goes to a beach overlook.

For further information see http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/maui/waianapanapa-state-park/

35 Million Microfilm Images & 5,500 Books Digitized During Project

The State Bureau of Conveyances, one of the divisions of the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources, is now in the second phase of a four-phase project to convert more than 170 years of vital state records into permanent, digital format.

recordsThe Hawai‘i Bureau of Conveyances is the only single statewide recording office in the country. It examines, records, and indexes more than 344,000 land and property documents and maps each year and it issues Land Court Certificates of Title and certifies copies of matters of record.  On a daily basis, the Bureau of Conveyances inputs 1,100-1,500 documents and its documents date back to 1845.

Leslie Kobata, the acting Bureau of Conveyances Registrar, explained, “Our conversion of documents to digital started with 35 million microfilm images. The microfilms are the original back-ups to the 5,500 reference books that date back to the mid-1800s.

records2The second phase of the digital conversion was the scanning of each of those books and the number of pages is staggering: an estimated 3.3 million plus. The goal is to have all of these important historical and legal documents properly preserved and in a format that is easily accessible by anybody.”

The Bureau of Conveyances hired U.S. Imaging, a Michigan based company and for the first two phases has spent approximately $1.35 million on the project. Kobata added, “The importance of the partnership with them is that we’re working with a company that does this type of work solely across the country. U.S. Imaging has many years of experience and completed projects under its belt and when they began work here in Hawai‘i some of the practices and innovations that they’ve adopted and applied from that experience actually saved the State some money.”

records3In late 2015, a team from U.S. Imaging began scanning 15,000 rolls of microfilm land records from 1845-1991. Teams of two people worked around the clock, seven days a week and completed the process in a month.  U.S. Imaging President Scott Robinson said, “Scanned images are stored on our servers, as well as on ‘M disk,’ the first digital format that is truly archival. It is estimated M disks will last more than 1,000 years, because data is physically etched into the disk. This makes them much less light sensitive and susceptible to environmental conditions like heat, moisture, and humidity.”

Then, over the past month, another team of U.S. Imaging workers completed scanning of the thousands of reference books.  Operating in a temporary enclosure in the below-ground parking area of the Kalanimoku State Office Building on Punchbowl Street, they too worked around-the-clock shifts. Some of the challenges they faced were documents that were too light or had corrupted images. Robinson explained, “With most scanners on the market, when you put the paper into the glass guides, the fiber comes off, builds up and causes streaking on the scanned pages.  So you’d have to constantly stop and clean or change glass guides.  Now using the highest tech, German-made scanners available, there are no glass guides and the scanner is able to pick up 16,777,216 colors in the spectrum, compared to 256 shades of gray in the scanning of microfilm.”

records4DLNR Chair Suzanne Case commented, “The upcoming phase three of this project will be to make sure all the scanned images are enhanced and in a form and format best possible for reproduction and access. At this point they can be viewed digitally at the Bureau of Conveyances. Phase four will be to make all of the scanned documents accessible to anyone with a computer.  While the Bureau of Conveyances will maintain all of the historic reference books and microfilm, this digitization project ensures the preservation of some of Hawai‘i’s most important and vital historical records.”

The Bureau of Conveyances public reference room is open Monday-Friday (except for state holidays) from 8:15 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. Reference books and microfilms will remain available for review.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Inducted into the Prestigious Historic Hotels of America Program

The iconic Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is proud to announce its induction into Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest historic hotels. The hotel will now be included in the organization’s elite directory.

mauna-kea-beach-hotel“As the first resort hotel built on the Kohala Coast, renowned for its timeless design and architectural excellence, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is honored to be selected for membership in this distinguished organization comprised of some of the most historically significant buildings in America,” said Craig Anderson, general manager.

Of the 34 hotels inducted into Historic Hotels of America in 2016, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel was one of the few mid-century modern historic hotels selected and is currently the only one with that unique design aesthetic in Hawaii.

Induction into the prestigious program is based upon remarkable standards, including quality of accommodations, historic significance, record of preserving authenticity, sense of place and architectural integrity. Additionally, nominated hotels must be at least 50 years old, a milestone achieved by Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in 2015, and designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Place.

Founded in 1965 by venture capitalist and passionate conservationist Laurance S. Rockefeller, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel offers 252 luxurious guest rooms, a variety of dining options including Copper Bar and Manta Restaurant, spa and tennis facilities, and the award-winning championship 18-hole Mauna Kea Golf Course. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel overlooks Kaunaoa Bay, one of the Hawaii’s finest natural white sand beaches. For more information or reservations, please call 1-808-882-5707 or visit maunakeabeachhotel.com.

Hawaii Island Musicians Featured in Third Installment of Kahilu Steinway Series

Sunday, November 27, 4pm, Kahilu Theatre showcases the talents of two Hawai‘i Island residents – Cheryl “Quack” Moore and Roland “Ohrlando” Maurer – in the third installment of the Kahilu Steinway Series. Pianist Anthony Maroudis will be making a guest appearance during the performance, joining Quack at the piano for a 4-hand work by Maurice Ravel.

Cheryl & Roland

Cheryl & Roland

Cheryl “Quack” Moore (a.k.a. Cheryl Hardwick) retired to Hilo in 2001 from NYC having spent 25 years on Saturday Night Live as band member, composer, and music director. She holds a Masters degree from Juilliard School of Music, and won two Emmys as a composer for Sesame Street. In 2014 she ‘retired’ from the Palace Theater Board of Directors where she served for twelve years as its president. Quack has been the music director for all fourteen of the Palace’s annual musicals and she remains active in many areas of the performing arts on the Big Island.

Roland “Ohrlando” Maurer studied Oboe and Bassoon at the Conservatory in Zürich and graduated with a teaching diploma, concert diploma, and a conductor certificate in Oboe. He also graduated with a Bassoon diploma as well. Roland made his living as a teacher, professional musician, and conductor in orchestras, symphonies, operas, and chamber music groups and in 2011 he moved to Hawai‘i Island, after-which he founded Ohrlando’s Chamber Ensemble, which regularly performs in concerts across the island.

Anthony Maroudas, born in South Africa, studied with Lamar Crowson, pianist in the Melos Ensemble of London. As both soloist and ensemble player, Mr. Maroudas has performed in South Africa, London, Greece, and the United States. In 2006, he relocated from Seattle to Hilo where he maintains an active schedule in his piano-teaching studio.

The program will include works by Napoléon Coste, Alexandre Tansman, Theodore Lalliet, Maurice Ravel, Francis Poulenc, and Camille Saint-Saëns.

Kahilu Theatre doors open at 3pm for the performance and there will be snacks and beverages available for sale at the Kahilu Theatre bar. The Spirits of the Pacific Islands and Oceans exhibit is showing in the Kohala Gallery and the Transcending Palms exhibit is showing in the Hamakua Gallery.

The Steinway Series is a series of performances showcasing Kahilu Theatre’s Model D Steinway Concert Grand piano at accessible ticket prices.

Tickets are $28 / $23 / $18 / $8 and available for purchase online at http://www.kahilutheatre.org, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI 96743, M-F 9am to 1pm.

The Steinway Series is made possible by generous sponsorship by Mike & Ruth Bernstone, Sharon Cornish-Martin, Karen Ferrara, Betty & Lee Meyerson, Dr. Marcia Wishnick & Mr. Stanley Wishnick, and Other Friends of Kahilu.