Governor Abercrombie Welcomes Baseball Players from Ehime Prefecture

Governor Neil Abercrombie welcomed players, coaches, and government officials from Ehime Prefecture at Washington Place for the 10thAnniversary of the Ehime-Hawaii Baseball Tournament and Youth Exchange.

“Events can separate us but events – even tragic events – can also bring us together” said Governor Abercrombie in his welcome remarks.  “The Ehime-Hawaii Goodwill Youth Baseball Tournament that started after the tragic events surrounding the sinking of the Ehime Maru off Kakaako in February 2001 has brought the people of Ehime Prefecture and Hawaii together”.

The tournament and exchange is held in Hawaii and Japan on alternating years.  In 2012, Hawaii coaches and players will travel to Ehime, Japan to play a series of games and participate in the home stay.

“This baseball and youth exchange gives the young people from Ehime and Hawaii a chance to experience a different culture as well as compete in the game of baseball” said Mark Anderson, President of the Asia Pacific Exchange and Development, the non-profit organization that organizes the exchange. “This year we have three teams: a 17 and under, a 15 and under, and a 12 and under team.  However, the 17 and under team will play their first game under this exchange next year in Ehime prefecture.”

“We expect some exciting and competitive games from the Ehime Players”, said Benny Agbayani, Director of Baseball for the Tournament and Exchange.

The Ehime-Hawaii Baseball Tournament and Exchange will run from November 17th to the 24.th. Over 100 participants are visiting from Ehime Prefecture consisting of coaches, players, parents and government officials. The tournament and exchange will include a memorial service, a visit to Ewa Makai Middle School, a home-stay visit for the Ehime players, participation in cultural activities, and two days of baseball to be played on Saturday and Sunday at Hans L’Orange Park in Waipahu and Central Oahu Regional Park in Waipio.

Navy Sailor From Honolulu Beats a Former Mainland Town Councilor Unconscious

Two sailors facing felony charges for allegedly beating a former Kittery, Maine, town councilor unconscious and leaving him on a city street Friday night were ordered held on $200,000 cash bail.

The victim was identified in court Tuesday as Stephen Huntress, 48, of Kittery Point, Maine. Huntress is a former chairman of the Kittery Town Council.

Police ask anyone who might have witnessed the alleged assault in the area of Bow and Chapel streets to call Detective John Peracchi at 610-7432 or Detective Lt. Corey MacDonald at 610-7548. Seacoast Crime Stoppers accepts anonymous tips at 431-1199 or www.seacoastcrimestoppers.org.

Gerald Smith, 22, of Honolulu, Hawaii, and Sandy Portobanco, 23, of Inglewood, Calif., both sailors on the USS Greeneville, which is currently at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, were arraigned via video from the Rockingham County House of Corrections on Tuesday morning. Each man was charged with first-degree assault, a Class A felony, and witness tampering, a Class B felony.

“They left a man in the streets of Portsmouth in the middle of the night to die,” said prosecutor Karl Durand…

More Here

Of course this wouldn’t be the first time a sailor from the USS Greeneville got in trouble.

Remember the Ehime Maru?

Remember the Ehime Maru?

Ehime Maru – 8 Years Ago

Yesterday, marked 8 years since the Ehime Maru incident off Oahu waters that left 9 crew members dead including 4 high school students after the submarine USS Greenville slammed into it as it was rising to the surface of the ocean.

The Ehime Maru before being hit by the US Submarine Greenville.

The Ehime Maru before being hit by the Submarine USS Greenville

The following is from a Japanese newspaper out of the Ehime Prefecture:

MATSUYAMA, Ehime Pref. (Kyodo) About 340 people offered silent prayers Tuesday for the nine people who died eight years ago when a U.S. submarine surfaced under a Japanese fisheries high school training ship off Hawaii.

At a memorial service at Uwajima Fisheries High School in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, students, family members and teachers rang a bell recovered from the sunken Ehime Maru nine times at 8:43 a.m. — 1:43 p.m. Hawaii time — the exact moment when the 499-ton ship was struck from below by the USS Greeneville.

“Tremendous anger and grief have not gone away even after eight years. It is our duty to learn the lessons from the accident,” said Shinzo Imaoka, principal of Uwajima Fisheries High School.

In Honolulu, 60 people, including relatives of three of the victims, held their own memorial ceremony Monday.

“I don’t want to bring back the memory of the accident, but I really appreciate so many people attending the ceremony every year,” said Tatsuyoshi Mizuguchi, who lost his 17-year-old son, Takeshi, in the accident.

Mizuguchi’s son is the only victim whose body was not recovered.

Hawaii’s Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro produced the following Ukulele Song for the people of Ehime Maru and entitled it appropriately “Ehime Maru”:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YbYidBm5GE&hl=en&fs=1]

Here is a clip of the salvation mission under sea:

Some shots of Canyon’s XL-16 and Quest ROV during salvage operations of the ‘Ehime Maru’.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HefMaDULYnM&hl=en&fs=1]