Councilwoman Jen Ruggles Available in Pahoa and Hilo Offices

On Monday, December 5th I took an oath to serve the people of our island to the best of my ability.  I am deeply humbled and honored to say that I’ve officially taken office as your District 5 council representative and now the real work begins.

Our Hilo and Pahoa offices are being set up and constituent meetings have already begun. We will continue our open door policy for the Hilo Office, while balancing our residents needs to meet in the district in Pahoa.

Our Hilo Office is located in the lava rock faced County Building at 25 Aupuni St. Hilo, HI 96720 and in Pahoa we are located at 15-2879 Pahoa Village Road, two properties down from the 7/11 Store on the same side of the road.

We will have an official County website up and running within the next few months and will migrate our notices, events, and pertinent constituent information as soon as we can.

I am also pleased to introduce you to our competent hard-working staff  who share my passion of service: Amber Shouse and Nelson Ho.  Amber will be serving as our council aid  while Nelson will be our legislative assistant.

To schedule a meeting with me please contact Amber at 961-8026 or Amber.Shouse@hawaiicounty.gov. Nelson can be contacted at 961-8536 and Nelson.Ho@hawaiicounty.gov.

Have a safe and happy holiday season. We will keep you posted on upcoming council hearings and important community events.

Yours truly,

Councilwoman Jen Ruggles

Large Fishing Net Removed From Beach at Kapa’a

A large fishing net, estimated to weigh about two tons, was removed from the beach at Kapa‘a fronting the Coral Reef Resort, yesterday.

Staff from the Kaua‘i office of the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR), Department of Land and Natural Resources first learned about the net mass very late Wednesday evening via a posting on social media. After an initial on-site assessment early Thursday morning by Kaua‘i DOBOR District Manager Joseph Borden, DOBOR staffers were dispatched to move and secure the net.

As far as staff could tell, no marine life was trapped in the next, and not even barnacles were evident.

Two sizable, heavy trucks with chains were required to roll the partially buried in sand net mass above the high wash of the waves and onto the property of the Coral Reef Resort hotel.

The net was staged there with the permission of the hotel for removal today. The net mass and any debris that came loose during the removal have been collected by Conserve Kauai and the net mass will be shipped to O‘ahu for recycling/disposal.

Reports of large nets or marine debris on shorelines may be made to dlnr.marine.debris@hawaii.gov.

Waiakea One of Four Schools Earning Spots In Hawaii LifeSmarts State Competition

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) Office of the Securities Commissioner announces the top scoring high school teams for the online portion of the annual Hawaii LifeSmarts State Competition.

The top four teams are from Maryknoll, Pearl City, Roosevelt and Waiakea high schools.  They have earned a spot to compete at the in-person State Competition, which will be held on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017 at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Campus Center Ballroom from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  The event is open to the general public.

LifeSmarts is a consumer education program designed to teach students in grades 6-12 about personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities. The Hawaii LifeSmarts program is sponsored by the DCCA Office of the Securities Commissioner in partnership with the Hawaii Credit Union League and the National Consumers League.

The teams will test their skills through written tests, a “speed dating the experts” activity, and gameshow style buzzer rounds at the State Competition.  The winner of the competition will represent Hawaii at the National LifeSmarts Competition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from April 21 – 24, 2017.

“Thank you to all the students and coaches for their dedication and participation in this year’s LifeSmarts online competition.  Congratulations to the top four teams who will move on to the State Competition”, said Securities Commissioner Ty Nohara.

For program information on the next competition season and/or sponsorship inquiries, please contact LifeSmarts State Coordinator, Theresa Kong Kee at 808-587-7400 or email tkongkee@dcca.hawaii.gov.  For up-to-date happenings on the LifeSmarts Hawaii program, follow the Office of the Securities Commissioner on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching “HISecurities”.

Suspicious Device Closes Shopping Mall and Road in Kona

Hawaiʻi Island police have closed a shopping mall and part of a road in Kona because of a suspicious device.

At 7:23 a.m., police received a call about a suspicious device in front of a business at the King Kamehameha Mall in Kailua-Kona. Police evacuated the mall and formed a perimeter around the area. As a result, Kuakini Highway, from Palani Road to Kaiwi Street is closed to traffic and is expected to remain closed through the afternoon.

Personnel from the U.S. Army Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) are responding.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area. Police thank the public for their cooperation.

Maunalua Makes Their Kahilu Theatre Debut

On Friday, December 23, 2016, at 7PM, the award-winning Hawaiian music trio Maunalua, known for its tight harmonies, strong vocals, and slack key guitar licks makes its Kahilu Theatre debut.

A longtime favorite with audiences all over the aloha state and the continental United States, Maunalua’s always-entertaining performances range from fun high-energy songs to sweet and soulful ballads interspersed with banter between the three group members and the audience. Formed in 1993, Maunalua is comprised of Bobby Moderow, Jr. (Slack Key Guitar, Lead and Background Vocals), Kahi Kaonohi (Electric Bass, Lead and Background Vocals), and Richard Gideon (Guitar, ‘Ukulele, Lead and Background Vocals). The trio has won numerous awards over the years, with the most recent being the award for 2016 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Group of the Year.

Doors open at 6PM for the performance and there will be beverages and snacks available for sale at the Kahilu Theatre bar.

Tickets are $68 / $58 / $48 / $20 and available for purchase online at www.kahilutheatre.org, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI 96743, Monday – Friday, from 9am to 1pm.

This performance is made possible by generous sponsorship from Peter Souza, Kalei Kamalani & Matthew Kamalani, Working Class Hawaii, and Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

The Kahilu 2016/17 Hawaiian Series is sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines and KAPA Radio.

Coast Guard Calls Off Search for Man Wanted By Police

The Coast Guard suspended the active search Wednesday at sunset for the boater missing off the Big Island.

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 52-year-old Honokaʻa man who is wanted for violating terms of bail.
Derek Liu is described as 5-foot-10, 165 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.

Derek Liu, 52, remains missing.

“Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Mr. Liu,” said Lt. Scott Carr, the Coast Guard 14th District public affairs officer. “We extend our thanks to our partners in the Hawaii County Fire Department and the Navy for their support and time on this search.”

Responders conducted a total of 26 sorties covering 820 square miles (713 sq. nautical miles) over four days.

Involved in the search were:

  • Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point
  • The crews of the USCGC Ahi (WPB 87364) and USCGC Kittiwake (WPB 87316)
  • Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter crews from HSM-37 at Kaneohe Bay
  • Hawaii County Fire Department air crews, boat crews and divers

Watchstanders from the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center received notification from the Hawaii County Fire Department Sunday morning regarding a 12-foot Zodiac dinghy found adrift offshore by a mariner. The dinghy had evidence of recent use with two fishing rods, tackle box and fresh fish in the cooler aboard.


Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 52-year-old Honokaʻa man who is wanted for violating terms of bail.

Derek Liu is described as 5-foot-10, 165 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

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. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.