Skydiving Incident on the Big Island Leaves Man in Critical Condition

A skydiving incident on the Big Island of Hawaii has left a 41-year-old man in critical condition:

Hawaii Fire Department Incident Report: 10050

Type of Incident: Skydiving Accident around 11:00 am at the vacant lot Mauka of Upolu Airport

Situation Found at Scene: Found 40’s male lying on ground attended by 4-5 by-standards. Patient with multiple serious injuries. Patient treated and stabilized by medic personnel, then loaded aboard HFD Chopper 2 for transport to North Hawaii Community Hospital in critical condition.

Cause: Parachute Malfunction/high speed crash landing.

Remarks: Hawaii Fire Department Company 15, was dispatched to an Emergency Medical Service call and found 41 male solo skydiver with injuries from a “hard landing”.  According to the lead skydiver instructor, patient possibly had a malfunction with his chute.  Patient extricated to M15 for ALS treatment.  Patient was then transported to North Hawaii Community Hospital Emergency Room by M14 personnel via Chopper 2.  Patient with multi-system trauma injuries.

A view of the Upolu Airport via Skydive Hawaii when they were operating on the Big Island.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Honors Fallen Heroes at Punchbowl Roll Call of Honor Ceremony

This morning at Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) delivered remarks to honor service members who paid the ultimate price in sacrifice to our country at an annual Roll Call of Honor Ceremony.

In her address, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard spoke about the true cost of war, saying, “Every time we gather here at Punchbowl, it is a reminder of the very real, true cost of war.  The cost that exists in the names on these grave stones. It exists in our hearts, and with the memories of our friends who never came home. It exists in the unbreakable bond between veterans of different generations, that we can come together knowing that we have each experienced in one way or another the same pain and broken heart of losing a comrade in arms, while simultaneously appreciating the special courage and selflessness of our friends who paid the ultimate price in service to our country.

“Today, we honor them. We remember the many heroes who have roots here in Hawaii and the Pacific who gave all.  People like First Lieutenant Nainoa Hoe, or SP5 Kimo Gabriel, the first Green Beret and the first Hawaiian killed in Vietnam. Many of us here knew “Uncle Herb” Weatherwax, a Native Hawaiian Pearl Harbor survivor, and we’d often see him at military events like today’s. He would have been one hundred years old this year, but Uncle Herb passed last December one week after the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day 75th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony. It was his dying wish to be there, and being of the Greatest Generation, of course he made it happen. I also remember some of my friends who served in the 29th Brigade Combat Team—Sergeant Deyson Cariaga and Staff Sergeant Frank Tiai, who did not come home with us.  As we reflect here today on the specialness of this place and the courage of these heroes, this day, and every day, let us honor our friends, fight for them as they sacrificed for us, and make the most of the life and time we have been blessed with.”

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union Employee of the Year: Novie Gonzalez

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union announced at its 80th Annual Membership Luncheon that Novie Gonzalez, a 10-year employee of the organization was named “Employee of the Year.”  Gonzalez joined HCFCU in 2007 as a Call Center Representative I and is now an ACH/EFT Specialist. Additionally, HCFCU members, board members, staff and guests viewed a new commemorative video honoring the credit union’s 80-year legacy and heard highlights about 2016 initiatives.  The video and 2016 Annual Report can be found online at

HCFCU of the Year Movie Gonzalez (center, holding plaque), is surrounded by her HFCU colleagues: ( r.): Tricia Buskirk, Norma Johnson, Laura DeBoer, Robyn Naihe, Patricia Cerney, Charmaine Cirera, Evelyn DeLeon, Novie Gonzalez, Jason Ayers, Kuulei Pali-Forth, Joelle Kamaka, Davelyn Esperanza, David Miyashita. Photo Credit: Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union.

“Novie is such a wonderful member of our ohana,” said Tricia Buskirk, President and CEO of HCFCU. “Every day she demonstrates absolute dedication to her work, our members and to the community through our various fundraising efforts.  It’s also amazing that in her 10 years of service she’s achieved a near-perfect attendance record. This shows her enthusiasm and ongoing commitment to the credit union and ensuring it’s continued success.  She definitely deserves this award.”

During the luncheon HCFCU also recognized team members for their years of devoted service.  Receiving 25 years service awards is Norma Johnson, Senior Teller. Receiving 20 years are Laura DeBoer, Branch Manager, Jane DeMello, Loan Officer II and Kelly Gorloff , Compliance Officer. Receiving 15 years are Jason Ayers , AVP/Loan Manager and Patricia Cerney, Loan Processor. Receiving 10 years are Davelyn Esperanza, Branch Support Coordinator, Rosette Freitas, Loan Processor, David Miyashita, Marketing Coordinator, and Robyn Naihe, Support Services Coordinator. Receiving 5 years are Tricia Buskirk,  President/CEO, Charmaine Cirera, Branch Support Coordinator, Evelyn DeLeon, Teller II, Catherine Furukado, Teller I, Joelle Kamaka, Call Center Representative II and Kuulei Pali-Forth, Teller II.

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit credit union owned by it’s over 39,000 member/owners with branches in Honokaa, Kailua-Kona, Kaloko, Kealakekua and Kohala.  In addition to complete checking and savings services, the credit union offers credit cards, auto, mortgage, construction, small business, educational and personal loans; online and mobile banking; investment services; youth programs and supports numerous Hawaii Island programs and events.  Membership in Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is open to all Hawaii Island residents. For more information visit