Officer Kupono Mata Named Aloha Exchange Club Officer of the Month

Officer Kupono Mata (a 6-year police veteran) has been recognized as the Aloha Exchange Club Officer of the Month for March 2017. This is due to his outstanding performance both as a solo patrolman and more recently as a Field Training Officer. He serves as a “role model” for new officers by his consistent dedication to police work, investigative skill, and quick reactions during evolving volatile situations that bring them to a conclusion.

Officer Kupono Mata

On August 12, 2016 at 12:30 p.m., Officer Mata and other officers encountered a 72-year-old male at his residence yelling that he wanted to die and telling officers to shoot him. Officer Mata immediately responded and subdued the man safely bringing an end to a potentially deadly situation.

On December 9, 2016 at about 11:00 a.m. Officer Mata and his recruit responded to a domestic call in the Mountain View area. Upon arrival the situation had calmed down and it did not appear there was a criminal case to be made, however while talking to a female at the front of the property Officer Mata heard a vehicle start-up from an area behind the house. He proceeded to that location and found a 21-year-old male party who had been involved in the argument attempting to leave in a pickup truck. Officer Mata directed his recruit officer to check the license plate number of this vehicle with dispatch on the random hunch that it could be stolen. Dispatch confirmed that the truck was indeed stolen in November 2016 from a Hilo fuel station parking lot. The suspect was subsequently arrested and the 1991 Mazda truck recovered.

Later that same afternoon at approximately 4:00 p.m. Officer Mata and his assigned recruit had completed their shift but were still working on finishing up reports from that day. Officer Mata overheard officers on the radio making checks for a stabbing suspect operating a stolen vehicle who was observed traveling recklessly through the Puna district at a high rate of speed. Officer Mata realizing the dangerous nature of the call took the initiative and self-assigned himself and his recruit to assist other on-duty officers by making checks on Highway 11 and Highway 130 in the Keaʻau area. While conducting these checks Officer Mata spots the suspect on the shoulder of the road using a gas can to refuel the stolen Nissan pickup truck and broadcasts the information to fellow officers. The suspect seeing the police re-enters the vehicle and attempts to flee as Officer Mata and other officers converge on him. As Officer Mata makes an attempt to stop the vehicle the suspect guns the engine as Officer Mata grabs him and nearly falls from the moving vehicle (putting himself at the risk of being run over). The suspect is finally stopped and apprehended.

On December 13, 2016, Officer Mata takes a felony report of thefts from a business that occurred over a 2-year-period, suspected to have been committed by a fired employee. The victim also relates that he has information that much of his stolen equipment, including a Caterpillar bobcat and a trailer, are located on a property in Mountain View. Officer Mata proceeds to the Mountain View location and is able to obtain a visual from the roadway of the suspected stolen items. Officer Mata obtains a Search Warrant, and serves it later that evening. As a direct result of Officer Mata’s efforts machinery and equipment having an estimated value exceeding $35,000 are recovered.

Officer Kupono Mata on a daily basis displays his dedication to the profession, maintaining perfect attendance for the last year and a half period. Officer Mata’s consistent actions and work ethic embodies the Hawaii Police Department Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism, Compassion, Teamwork, and Community Satisfaction.

Hawaii Civil Defense Alert and King Tide Information – Dates May 26, June 23 and July 21

An observable phenomenon this weekend on shorelines and low-lying areas in Hawaii heralds the arrival of the highest ‘king tides’ of the year, that will occur over a couple days around May 26, June 23, and July 21.  The Hawaii Sea Grant Center for Coastal and Climate Science and Resilience, and Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System together at the University of Hawaii have been tracking unusual high tide levels and are advising that the state will likely continue to experience unusually high tide levels throughout the summer.

The tides are further elevated by a few unusual compounding factors that include:

  • Ocean eddies with high centers moving through the islands;
  • Global sea-level rise due to climate change
  • Wave action, including potential summer swells or storm surge.

State and County emergency managers most recently met with UH and Sea Grant climate researchers for an informational briefing on May 19 to better understand how long these potential flooding events might last and what their potential impacts may be.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) as a major coastal landowner, is concerned with possible impacts of the higher sea levels, such as:

  • Localized coastal erosion problems;
  • High-wave run-up and overwash, particularly with a south swell coinciding with high tides this weekend; and
  • Temporary ‘nuisance flooding’ in low-lying areas and storm drains.

Impacts anticipated this weekend are likely to be greatest on shorelines exposed to south swells that have experienced flooding or erosion in the past.  Flooding impacts in June and July will be greatest if king tides coincide with a high wave event, storm, and/or rain.  The high tides may back-up storm drains in low-lying coastal areas.

To help the community prepare and respond, DLNR joins with Sea Grant to recommend that landowners in low-lying shoreline areas or near waterways consider moving to higher ground any electronics, vehicles or other valuable from basements or yards.

Problems with localized flooding and increased currents around harbors could occur this weekend, particularly on south and west shores. The Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation encourages boaters to monitor their vessels to ensure mooring lines don’t get too tight, and to beware of overwash around boat ramps at high tide. Canoe clubs should secure or move canoes on the beach.  Boating officials are not anticipating any impacts to state boating facilities as the tides are not expected overtop piers.

Marine biologist Skippy Hau, with the Maui Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), says, “This weekend it’s too early in the season for turtle nesting to be impacted. The nesting season will begin in June and at that time biologists and volunteers will be monitoring the beaches for any signs of turtle nesting. Timing is critical — high tides could threaten nestlings as they emerge from the nest.”

Dr. Kim Peyton, estuaries and coastal habitat research scientist in DAR, notes that “King tides bring unusually high water levels, resulting in local flooding that can leave schools of juvenile fishes to die on roads, parking lots and other hard structures. When waves smash up against these hard structures, the deafening noise underwater can degrade habitat quality for juvenile fish in these altered estuaries.

She adds, “Under typical conditions, high tides hold back stream flow to the coast, then at low tides this wall of ocean water recedes and streams flood out into the ocean.  King tides create a bigger wall of ocean water, meaning these tides can hold back streams to a greater degree and potentially cause streams to flood their banks even without rain in the mountains. Local current patterns in streams and bays may change temporally as the sharp shoulders of the King tides raise and lower water levels.”

Shoreline fishponds could possibly experience damage from high tides combined with unusual ocean swells.

DLNR is the state coordinating agency for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in Hawaii. It’s recommended that persons with properties in low-lying that may be affected by the King Tides take mitigative actions to protect their properties (i.e. use of sandbags to protect the structure or elevating personal property). If not already covered by flood insurance, talk to your insurance agent about protecting your home or business against flooding. Keep in mind, there is a 30 day wait period for a policy to take effect so don’t delay.

The Hawaii Sea Grant Center for Coastal and Climate Science and Resilience is asking island residents to help document high water levels and related impacts through the Hawaii and Pacific Islands King Tides “Citizen Science” project by submitting photos online through the program’s smartphone app or website. For information and tide prediction charts, go to:

Hawaii Civil Defense Alert for May 26, 2017:

This is an extreme high tides and high surf message for Friday, May 26th.

The National Weather Service reports unusually high tides, also known as “king tides,” may cause dangerous flooding conditions along all shores of Hawaii Island from today through the Memorial Day weekend before gradually subsiding next week.

This extreme high tide, or king tide, will be in combination with dangerous high surf caused by large southerly swells. Be aware, due to the king tides and high surf, coastal areas, beaches, low-lying roads, boat ramps and harbors may be dangerously impacted especially during the high tide periods of the afternoon and late evening hours.

These expected high surf and king tide conditions will cause higher beach run-up, flooding and erosion.

Because of these dangerous conditions, the following precautions should be taken: oceanfront residents, beachgoers and boat owners are advised to be on the alert for possible high and dangerous surf, strong currents, and beach flooding. As a precaution, you should consider canceling or suspending coastal water activities until potential dangerous hazards are over. As always, precautionary actions should be taken before nightfall.

While there are no closures of roads or beaches at this time, please be aware that these may occur without notice.

You will be informed of any changes in conditions that may affect your safety.
Thank you for listening. Have a safe day. This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Kona Coffee Exhibit Open First Saturday of June

The award-winning exhibit, “The Kona Coffee Story: Along the Hawaii Belt Road,” which was featured at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, as well as in museums world-wide, will be on display for the public at the H.N. Greenwell Store Museum in Kealakekua on Saturday, June 3 from 10am to 2pm.

Kona Historical Society Board Member Alfreida Fujita enjoying photos from “The Kona Coffee Story: Along the Hawaii Belt Road” during the exhibit’s Opening Reception earlier this year.

The exhibit will be closed earlier in the week for Kona Historical Society’s preservation-project planning. If you can’t join us Saturday, please join us the following week on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, June 5, 6 and 8, from 10am to 2pm during the exhibit’s regular hours of operation.

Regular admission is $5, but it’s free to students, military and Kona Historical Society members. To become a member, visit

With the introduction of coffee to Kona in 1828, the development of Kona’s world-famous coffee industry experienced its highs and lows. Voices of hard working coffee farmers and community leaders can be heard through personal accounts, historic photographs and artifacts featured in this exhibit, all of which tell the compelling story of the early days of Kona coffee. The exhibit includes rare family portraits, scenes from the coffee land during the early 20th century, and a miniature model of a hoshidana, a traditional coffee mill. For this special exhibition of “The Kona Coffee Story: Along the Hawaii Belt Road,” Kona Historical Society has incorporated never-before-seen photos and artifacts from the organization’s collections and archives.

A product of extensive community collaboration led by the Kona Japanese Civic Association, Kona Historical Society and the Japanese American National Museum, the Society’s renewal of this world-traveled exhibit offers visitors the opportunity to be inspired by stories of Kona’s coffee pioneers and learn more about the deep roots of Kona’s coffee heritage and culture.

Kona Historical Society is a community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Smithsonian Museum affiliate that has spent the past four decades collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Kona districts and their rich cultural heritage within Hawaii. For more information, call Kona Historical Society at 808-323-3222 or visit To get the latest updates regarding Kona Historical Society programs, historic sites and special events, “LIKE” Kona Historical Society on Facebook.

Parker School Announces Fine Arts Award Winners

On May 11, students in grades 6–12 were honored for their dedication and excellence in the school’s fine arts program for the 2016-2017 school year.

Senior Jame Lozano received the night’s top honor, earning The Senior Rising Star Award. Awards were given for outstanding achievement in this year’s two Dramatiques productions, as well as visual arts and performing arts classes, students honored include:

Dramatiques Award Winners:

  • Dorothy in Wonderland (Fall Play)
  • Outstanding Actor in Principal Role: Spencer Corabi as Mad Hatter
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor (high school): Grace Bollinger as White Rabbit
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor (middle school): Portia Bonnici as Humpty Dumpty
  • Outstanding Ensemble Actor (high school): Ally Thomas
  • Outstanding Ensemble Actor (middle school): Julia Padron
  • Outstanding Production Supervisor: Kyra Matsuda, Costumes
  • Outstanding Technician (high school): Malaya Hill, Asst. Stage Manager and Summer Strom, Make-Up Crew
  • Outstanding Technician (middle school): Hana-Lei Ji, Sound Board Operator
  • MVP High School: Coco Romano-Giordano
  • MVP Middle School: Eleanor Carey
  • Director’s Award: Eric Fetsch
  • Heart of the Show Award: Tierney Wold

Mary Poppins (Spring Musical)

  • Outstanding Actor in Principal Role: Simon Dunlap as Bert
  • Outstanding Actress in a Principal Role: Kenzie Nelson as Mary Poppins
  • Outstanding Featured Actor (high school): Eve Anderson as Mrs. Correy
  • Outstanding Featured Actor (middle school): Portia Bonnici as Neleus
  • Outstanding Ensemble Actor (high school): Tierney Wold
  • Outstanding Ensemble Actor (middle school): Mallory West
  • Outstanding Choreographer: Ivy Kruger
  • Outstanding Production Supervisor: Kyra Matsuda
  • Outstanding Backstage Technician: Severin Wold
  • MVP Middle School: Noe Sulla
  • MVP High School: Coco Romano-Giordano
  • Director’s Award: Ethan Tawater
  • Heart of the Show Award: Bradley Smith

Visual Art Award Winners for Upper School:

  • The Annie Leibowitz Award for Best in Portrait Photography: Kawena Ching
  • Diego Rivera Award for Painting: Coco Romano Giordano
  • David Hockney Award for Best in Drawing: Erica Yost
  • The Ansel Adams Award for Best in Landscape Photography: Riley Herendeen
  • Francis Bacon Existentialism Art Award: Jenna Harris
  • Salvador Dali Surrealism Award: Micah Yamanaka
  • Judy Chicago Award for the Best Use of Art for Social or Political Change: Kenzie Nelson
  • Magdalena Abakanowics Award for Best Installation Work: Sophia Kaufmann
  • Creative Visionary Award for Macro Photography: Caylyn Makoff
  • Maria Montoya Martinez Award for Best Ceramic Vessel: Bradley Bollinger
  • Kandinsky Award for Best in Imaginative Work: Kawe Lincoln
  • Henry Moore Best in Abstract Art: Conner Kimbell
  • Michaleangelo Award for Best in Figurative Sculpture: Kawe Lincoln
  • Vincent Van Gogh Award for Best Use of Color to Express Emotions: Alex Coley
  • Frida Kahlo Award for Best Use of “Self Story” in Art: Hali’a Buchal
  • Andy Warhol Graphic Design Award: Darien Jones
  • Aurora Robson Environmentalism Art Award: Jadyn Ashcraft
  • Leonora Carrington Award for Conceptual Art – Eric Fetsch
  • David Ogilvy Award for Best Advertising Campaign – Alana Halstead
  • Best Cinematography Award: Grace Bollinger and Gracelyn Jardine
  • Senior Rising Star Award: Jame Lozano

Visual Art Award Winners for Middle School:

  • Excellence in MS Pottery: Violet Freeney
  • Excellence in MS Sculpture: Maloa Thompson
  • Excellence in MS Drawing and Painting: Anuhea Elliot
  • Excellence in MS Photo/Mixed Media: Lucas Koranda
  • Raising Star Award: Kehea Gaglione, William Bowers and Everett Gordon

Performing Arts Award Winners:

  • Baritone Section Leader Tenor/Bass: Ethan Tawater
  • Alto Section Leader: Elonna Blunt
  • Soprano Section Leader: Emma Hardin
  • Most Improved: Mo’orea Suguitan
  • Most Vocally Flexible: Emma Hardin
  • Most Enthusiastic- Upper School: Severin Wold
  • Most Enthusiastic- Middle School: Zoey Quiocho

Safety Repairs Begin Today on Ali’i Drive Bridge

The Department of Public Works will be doing safety repairs beginning today on the Ali‘i Drive Bridge located on the Waiaha Drainageway near Kona Tiki Hotel.

Work involves repairing/removing the damaged railings.  Beach goers and pedestrians are advised to avoid the area until the safety repairs have been completed.  Motorists are advised to drive with caution, beware of pedestrians and bicyclists, and to expect delays as alternating lanes closures may be implemented.

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Aloha Exchange Club’s Officer of the Month – Cala Arnold

Officer Cala Arnold (a 10-year police veteran) has been named as the Aloha Exchange Club’s Officer of the Month for May 2017. Officer Arnold was selected for his apprehension of a suspect with a weapon in a residential/preschool area.

Officer Cala Arnold

On April 25, 2017, Officer Arnold was dispatched to Hawaiian Paradise Park for a weapons incident in close vicinity to a preschool involving a male party stated to have brandished and pointed a rifle at an individual before walking away. Officer Arnold then began canvassing the area for the suspect and successfully located him. As the officer approached, the suspect ran to the edge of the road, bent down into the grass and retrieved what appeared to be a rifle with a scope, before backing away. Officer Arnold began ordering the suspect to drop the rifle, however the male ignoring his commands depressed the barrel release and loaded a pellet, at which time Officer Arnold identified the weapon as high powered pellet rifle.

The suspect subsequently dropped his weapon and was taken into custody. The father of the suspect who was on the scene expressed his gratefulness and praise for Officer Arnold’s ability to bring the situation under control in a peaceful manner.

Officer Cala Arnold’s calm demeanor, deliberate planning, and astute actions were directly responsible for the positive outcome of a potentially volatile and dangerous situation. The apprehension of this unpredictable individual insured the safety of all involved and was a display of the Police Department Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism, Compassion, Teamwork, and Community Satisfaction.

Shoulder Widening and Drainage Improvements in Keaukaha Area

The County of Hawai‘i  Department of Public Works Highways Division will be working on shoulder widening and drainage improvements for Desha Ave., Pua Ave., Baker Ave., and Todd Ave. beginning on Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

Work is scheduled between the hours of 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., Monday through Friday, except on holidays and weekends.  The project is estimated to be completed by the end of June 2017, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Motorists are advised to expect delays and to drive with caution as heavy vehicles and machinery will be in the work zone.  The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.