New Kamehameha Schools Trustee Named By Court

Kamehameha Schools is pleased to announce that Elliot Mills has been selected by the state Probate Court as the newest member of the Kamehameha Schools Board of Trustees. He replaces former Trustee Janeen-Ann Olds and will begin his term on Oct. 1, 2017.

Elliot Mills

Mr. Mills is vice president of hotel operations for Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, a major employer on the Leeward Coast of O‘ahu, which has 359 hotel accommodations and 481 vacation villas, and Disneyland Resort.

He previously served as general manager of the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort and general manager of the Outrigger Reef on the Beach. Mr. Mills also serves as a board member for Hawai‘i Pacific Health, HMSA, Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children, Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau, and Hawai‘i Community Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in travel industry management from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He is a Hilo native and graduate of St. Joseph’s High School.

Mr. Mills’ initial five-year board term will end in 2023, with the option to petition for reappointment at the end of his term for an additional five years.

In the months ahead, there will be opportunities to meet Mr. Mills and learn much more about him. But for now, please join me in welcoming him to the Kamehameha Schools ‘ohana.

Me ka ‘oia‘i‘o,

Micah Alika Kāne
Chairman of the Board

Representative Cindy Evans’s Response to Questions on Special Session on Honolulu Rapid Transit System

Rep. Cindy Evans

Aloha Damon,
I understand you wish to get a pulse before special session.

At this time I will pass on answering your questions. There are currently too many options available and until I see the bill, I feel the questions are unrealistic.

Best Regards,

Cindy Evans

Aloha Rep. Evans

Mahalo for representing the Big Island in legislative issues. I have some questions for you folks and hope you will respond to me by Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

1. Will you vote YES or NO on a 1% STATEWIDE increase to the Transient Accommodations Tax (9.25% to 10.25%) to help fund the Honolulu Rapid Transit System in the upcoming legislative special session?
If your answer is YES, please explain why? If your answer is NO, please explain why?
2. Would you support a 6 year extension of the Honolulu General Excise Tax Surcharge of 0.5% from 2027 to 2034 if this will help fully fund the Honolulu Rapid Transit System without raising the Transient Accommodations Tax STATEWIDE?
3. Would you support an increase of the Honolulu General Excise Tax Surcharge of 0.5% to 0.62% and a 3 year extension of the Honolulu General Excise Tax Surcharge from 2028 to 2030 if this will fully fund the Honolulu Rapid Transit System without raising the Transient Accommodations Tax STATEWIDE?

Thank you for your participation in this quick and important decision that will affect all of us on this island.

Hawaii Garners National Recognition for Investment in Energy Efficiency

A national network of energy efficiency experts recently honored Hawaii with its “Race to the Top Award” for the pioneering work being done by state and county agencies to boost investment in energy efficiency projects that are helping the state meet its clean energy goals.

The nonprofit Energy Services Coalition (ESC) for the sixth consecutive year recognized Hawaii as the nation’s per capita leader in energy performance contracting (EPC), a form of innovative financing for capital improvements that allows government agencies to pay for energy efficiency upgrades with the savings on their utility bills. In addition, the ESC for the second straight year named Hawaii one of its “Energy Stewardship Champions” for achieving infrastructure modernization, environmental stewardship, and economic development through performance contracting.

“The growth of energy performance contracting is making a significant impact on Hawaii’s use of imported fossil fuels while helping diversify our economy by sustaining and creating jobs in the clean tech sector,” said Luis P. Salaveria, director of the State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. “I commend the state and county agencies that are executing energy performance contracts, and for playing a leadership role in Hawaii’s clean energy transformation.”

EPC uses the savings from upgrades such as digital controls for energy systems, and lighting, plumbing and air conditioning improvements to repay the cost of the equipment and its installation. The costs are borne by the performance contractor and paid back out of the energy savings.  The ESC in its annual “Race to the Top” program ranks the 50 states based on the per capita amount invested in performance contracts for government buildings. Hawaii’s investment of $372.81 per capita in 2017 earned the state a sixth consecutive No. 1 ranking. The national average for EPC investment is $62.72 per capita.

“Using a tool like energy performance contracting to retrofit buildings not only makes them more efficient and comfortable, it delivers meaningful energy cost savings to building owners,” said Carilyn Shon, HSEO administrator. “Furthermore, using energy more efficiently is the fastest, most cost-effective way to pursue Hawaii’s clean energy goals.”

In addition to the Race to the Top honor, Hawaii was one of 12 states that earned the ESC’s Energy Stewardship Champion award for a combination of its political leadership, programmatic design, and the amount of private sector investment in guaranteed energy savings performance contracting (GESPC) in their states.

“GESPC is a financial strategy leveraging guaranteed future energy savings to pay for energy efficiency upgrades today,” said Jim Arwood, ESC Executive Director. “Hawaii has achieved considerable recent success in support of implementing energy efficiency projects in public buildings and infrastructure through the use of a GESPC.”

The Hawaii State Energy Office (HSEO), a division of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, accepted the Race to the Top and Energy Stewardship Champion awards during the ESC’s annual conference August 9-11 at the Green Valley Ranch Resort in Henderson, Nevada.

HSEO provides technical assistance to state and country agencies entering into energy performance contracts. The EPC projects vary widely and include office buildings, community colleges, airports, highways, and prisons. In a typical EPC, the building owner contracts with an energy service company to install the energy improvements and guarantee the energy savings over the contract term. The contractor is then paid out of the energy savings and captures the incentives made available by Hawai‘i Energy to promote investment in energy efficiency.

“Hawaii continues to be a national leader in clean energy and energy efficiency,” said Brian Kealoha, executive director of Hawaii Energy.  “Since 1996, Hawaii state government agencies have saved, on average, more than 5 million kilowatt hours a year, equating to over $24 million in savings, with the majority of this coming through EPCs. Hawaii Energy has worked with the State Energy Office and state agencies to help them make smart energy choices. Hawaii Energy has rewarded these agencies with over $11 million in incentives for projects such as lighting, air conditioning system efficiency upgrades, and advanced building automation systems to promote investments that ultimately save taxpayers money while helping Hawai‘i achieve its 100 percent clean energy goal faster.”

Performance contracts signed by state and local government agencies in Hawaii since 1996 include 295 buildings and facilities covering more than 112 million square feet. The savings are the equivalent of powering 388,210 homes for one year.

Coast Guard Suspends Search for Five Missing Army Aviators

The Coast Guard suspended the active search at noon Monday for five Army aviators who went missing Tuesday night approximately two miles west of Ka’ena Point.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point returns from a first-light flight to refuel and continue searching for five Army aviators Aug. 17, 2017. An Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter went down approximately two miles west of Ka’ena Point, Oahu, Aug. 16, prompting the joint search effort. (U.S. Coast Guard by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Levasseur/Released)

“A decision to suspend searching without finding survivors is extremely difficult given the depth of its impact and I know I speak for the entire Coast Guard when I say our thoughts and prayers are with Army helicopter squadron and particularly with families and loved ones of those missing,” said Rear Adm. Vincent B. Atkins, commander, Coast Guard 14th District. “Our Coast Guard crews relied on their training and professionalism in this dynamic environment to mount the best response possible and I want to thank all our partners, the Navy, Army, the Hawaii Department of Natural Resources, Fire, Police and Ocean Safety for their extraordinary efforts. As we suspend the search we stand ready to support any future operations the Army conducts, and continue to provide any comfort we can for those suffering from this tragic loss.”

On-scene assets searched a total cumulative area of more than 72,575 sq. nautical miles (96,110 sq. statute miles) in more than 132 separate searches. The search area began off of Ka’ena Point, Oahu, but extended west beyond Kauai and Ni’ihau based on drift models.

Involved in the search were:
* Coast Guard Cutter Walnut (WLB 205) and crew from Honolulu
* Coast Guard Cutter Ahi (WPB 87364) and crew from Honolulu
* Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island (WPB 1349) and crew from Honolulu
* Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Barbers Point
* Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point
* Navy P-3 Orion aircrew from Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay
* Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter crew from Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay
* Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium Station Honolulu
* Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat-Medium Station Kauai
* UH-60 Black Hawk from Wheeler Army Airfield
* CH-47 Chinook helicopter aircrew from Wheeler Army Airfield
* Shore patrols and a helicopter crew from Honolulu Fire Department
* Shore patrols from Kauai Fire Department
* Crews from Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services
* Crew from the Hawaii Department of Land of Natural Resources
* Shore patrols from the Army and Coast Guard Sector Honolulu
* Residents of Ni’ihau Island

The search began late Tuesday following notification to the Coast Guard from personnel at Wheeler Army Airfield stating they lost communication with one of their UH-60 Black Hawk aircrews. The missing aircrew was reportedly engaged in night time training operations between Ka’ena Point and Dillingham Airfield.

The safety zone remains in effect extending out in a five nautical mile (5.75 statute miles) radius from the point 21-27.919N 158-21.547W, geographically located roughly two miles northwest of Ka’ena Point, established by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Wednesday. No vessels or persons are authorized to enter this zone without prior approval from the Captain of the Port. A broadcast notice to mariners has been issued. Ka’ena State Park trails remain closed at this time.

71-Year-Old Dies in Two-Vehicle Traffic Casualty

A 71-year-old Kailua-Kona woman was involved in a two-vehicle traffic casualty on (August 17), on Highway 190 at the 33-mile marker in Kailua-Kona.

She has been positively identified as Bernadette Chock.

Responding to a 2:40 p.m. call, police determined that a 2009 Nissan Frontier operated by a 48-year-old Kailua-Kona man had been traveling north on Highway 190 when he crossed left of center and struck head on with a 2007 Honda CR-V being operated by Chock who was traveling south on Highway 190.

Following the collision, the 73-year-old male passenger of the Honda CR-V was taken to the Kona Community Hospital for treatment of his injuries. Ms. Chock was also transported to the Kona Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 5:52 p.m.

The 48-year-old male operator of the Nissan Frontier was also taken to the Kona Community Hospital where he currently remains for treatment of his injuries.

Police believe that inattention was a factor in the crash, and an autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a Negligent Homicide investigation and is asking anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Officer Kimo Keliipaakaua at (808) 326-4646 ext. 229.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. 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. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

This is the twenty-third traffic fatality this year compared to fifteen at this time last year.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 16-Year-Old Puna Girl

UPDATE: Hawaiʻi Island police have located 16-year-old Haven Herzig of Puna who was reported missing on (July 20).  She was found unharmed on Saturday, (August 19), at 7:00 p.m.

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 16-year-old Puna girl reported as missing.

Haven Herzig

Haven Herzig, was last seen at her residence (July 20). She is described as Caucasian, 5-feet-2-inches, 140 pounds, with blue eyes and shoulder-length auburn hair.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call Officer Wyatt Kaili-Leong at the Puna Police Station (808) 965-2716 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. 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 calle r ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hospice of Hilo to Host Free Six-Week Grief Support Group

Hospice of Hilo will be offering a free, six-week adult grief support group called, “The Healing Journey”. The group is open to anyone in the community who has suffered a loss. Meetings will be at Hospice of Hilo’s office complex located at 1011 Waiānuenue Ave, Hilo, on Wednesdays from 10:00am to 11:30 am from September 6 through October 11.

“Participants are comforted by the validation of their grief and the knowledge that they are not alone.” said Hospice of Hilo Community Bereavement Counselor and group leader Cathy Hough. “To light memorial candles for their loved ones, write in journals, and to learn about the ways that grief ‘shows up’ empowers them to take charge and navigate their personal journey of loss.”

Hospice of Hilo

A recent participant explained, “Cathy’s commitment and pride in her work are evident. I think anyone could benefit from this class since loss in its many forms is universally experienced.” Healing Journey attendees have commented that the group was very helpful to them, finding it to have a kind and loving atmosphere in which to share their grief. “I use the coping mechanisms provided to this day because my grief journey is an on-going process.”

To participate in the Healing Journey six-week adult support group, please RSVP no later than Wednesday, August 30 to Cathy Hough at (808) 961-7309.