Are We Safer Now Then 10 Years Ago?… Poll

We all know the correlation between the tanking economy and rising crime rates.

When I moved from the Big Island to Oahu about 15 years ago, I noticed that the police record in the local papers only had about 5-10 names in them each day.  Now that I have moved back to the Big Island,  it seems like every time I check the police report, there is at least 20 plus names listed for various things.

Of course on Oahu, there are so many crimes being committed each and every hour,  they could never list all the names in a paper format.

So I ask… do you feel safer now then you did 10 years ago in general?

[polldaddy poll=”1361742″]

VOG Legislation: Rep. Souki… “This is a Natural Disaster, and No One’s in Charge.”

Hat tip to Georgette Deemer over at the Hawaii House Blog for blogging about the recent VOG hearings at the capital which obviously affect us all.

Deemer blogs “Who’s in Charge?“:

Six House committees met jointly this morning to hear VOG related bills in order to make it easier for testifiers from the various state/county agencies and the public. Rep. Robert Herkes coordinated the hearing, as chair of the House Special Committee on VOG Effects…
…At the end of the hearing, Rep. Herkes summed it up by saying that Rep. Souki hit the nail on the head when he concluded that “This is a natural disaster, and no one’s in charge.” Rep. Herkes has and continues to be frustrated by a lack of response from certain state agencies in addressing the immediate problems faced by the people on the Big Island…
…Although the state administration has established an Interagency Task Force on Vog, Rep. Herkes exclaimed that the task force has no chair and has only met twice. Rep. Souki added, “Meanwhile, the whole island is going to pot.”

Full Blog here

The other day, I posted our own District 5 Councilwoman’s testimony that she submitted to the legislature. You can view that interesting piece of testimony here.

Deemer also lists the following “VOG Package” that is before the legislature this year:

HB313 RELATING TO HIGHWAYS. This bill requires the Department of Transportation to conduct more reviews of the highway guardrails on the Big Island, as they are deteriorating from exposure to acid rain caused by VOG.

HB318 RELATING TO VOG. This bill requires the Department of Agriculture to work with the University of Hawaii to determine the best methods of VOG treatment and to research VOG-resistant varieties of plants.

HB316 RELATING TO AGRICULTURE. This bill establishes a temporary reimbursement program for tenants of state agricultural lands in VOG-impacted areas in order to reimburse tenants for costs of reapir and maintenance of fencing and other infrastructure.

HB312 RELATING TO HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES. This bill directs the Department of Defense to develop and implement a program to ensure that an adequate number of monitors are in place throughout the state where high VOG and sulfur dioxide incidences are known to occur.

HB317 RELATING TO MOBILE MEDICAL CARE. This bill authorizes the use of the federal Homeland Security Grant Program funds for mobile emergency and clinical medical care for the people in the southern sections of the Big Island.

HB314 RELATING TO WORKERS’ COMPENSATION. This bill requires the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to develop rules for workers’ compensation claims involving VOG-related medical conditions.

HB315 RELATING TO VOLCANIC EMISSIONS. This bill requires the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to establish standards to promote worker safety during high incidences of VOG or sulfur dioxide.

Deemer concludes, “As the Labor Committee had a quorum, they passed HB314 as is, and passed HB315 with amendments. The other bills were deferred for decision making next week.”

Inaugural Prevent Bullying Rally Held at Pahoa Elementary… Pictures

Pahoa Elementary was 1 of only 2 schools in the entire state that had an “Inaugural Aloha Rally  to Prevent Bullying”.  It was  held this evening in the schools cafeteria.

There was plenty of assistance on hand for those needing parking.

11 year old Richard Hatori manned the upper parking lot

11 year old Richard Hatori manned the upper parking lot

Koliah Hatori, 11 and Trey Guerra, 13 man the crosswalks

Koliah Hatori (10) and Trey Guerra (13) man the crosswalks

Vice Principal, Catherine McPherson oversees the action

Vice Principal, Catherine McPherson oversees the action

Inside the cafeteria people filed in for a night of fun.

Principal Marilyn Quaccia signs people in

Principal Marilyn Quaccia signs people in

Audience listens intently

Audience listens intently

There were many people involved in making this event turn out to be a great success.

Couldn't do it without them

Couldn't do it without them

Sue Labrantz, Big Island Anti Bullying Coalition (purple and teal mumu)

Sue Labrantz, Big Island Anti Bullying Coalition (purple and teal muu muu)

Throughout the school you will see pledge cards placed all over that read:


A video was played that featured 20/20 stories as well as other information on bullying.


Different grade levels performed skits about bullying.



A good time was had by all and I hope the kids learned a thing or two about bullying.


Click on pictures below for a larger view:

Rep. Kimberly Pine Introduces “Karens Law” Bill… Video

House Bill 819, otherwise known as “Karen’s Law” has been introduced into the Legislature this session.


HB819 HD1
Crime; Minors Tried as Adults
Mandates minors aged 15-17 be tried as adults in cases of first and second degree murder. (HB819 HD1)

Click here to read the full bill.

“It has been nearly two years since Karen Ertell was allegedly raped and murdered by her 15 year old neighbor, and yet, justice has not been served. Current law requires victim’s families to endure not one, but two lengthy court proceedings if the alleged killer is a juvenile. A bill that was killed in the legislature in 2008 has been revived by Democrats and Republicans to ensure families suffer less in the process.
“We are happy that Karen’s Law is back up for review,” stated Malanie McLellan, Karen Ertell’s foster daughter. “Reliving my mother’s death twice for such a heinous crime has been devastating for my family.”
McLellan said House Bill 819, “Karen’s Law,” would eliminate the first court proceeding which allowed a judge to decide whether Vernon Bartley, the alleged murderer, would be tried as an adult or juvenile. If Bartley was tried as a juvenile, he could have been released from a juvenile facility after his 18th birthday. HB 819 requires that 15-17 year olds, charged with first or second degree murder, be automatically tried as an adult.
“The two court proceedings for such a rare horrible crime have been an emotional process for Karen’s family,” said Representative Kymberly Pine (R-43, Iroquois Point, Ewa Beach, Puuloa). “Every time they go to court they have to remember the day they found her body. Karen’s Law will be the first important step in sparing others their personal pain.”

Hawaii Reporters Malia Zimmerman interviews Malanie McLellan:


SCAM Alert: 866-925-2651

The Hawaii County Police Department issued a media release warning of a text messaging scam that is going on and I received that text message 2/1/09 @ 10:19 in the morning (see bottom):

The Hawaii Police Department is warning the public about a possible scam involving text messages.

A 59-year-old Hilo man reported that he received two consecutive text messages on Sunday claiming to be from different credit unions. The messages asked the man to call a telephone number about his credit union account. The man didn’t have accounts with either credit union.

The first phone number was out of service. The second one had a recorded message asking the caller to leave his name and personal information.

Police advise the public not to provide personal information over the phone, by text message or by e-mail.”

Here is what the text message said to me:

“Aloha Pacific FCU.  Please call us immediately at 1-866-925-2651 regarding recent restriction placed on your account.”

Of course my wife and I have never had an account with this bank so we knew automatically that it was a scam.  But had we ever had an account… that little “Aloha” sure is a ruthless trick to island residents.

Unfortunately, a quick look at the website does direct you to the Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union and it is a legitimate business and they have put a SCAM NOTICE on their website:

Phony text, email and phone messages are being sent asking for personal information. THESE ARE FAKE MESSAGES. We NEVER request updated information through unsecured communication channels. When in doubt, always call us directly at 531-3711 or toll free at 877-531-3711 .

Assistance is available for members that have accidentally provided personal information. Please contact our call center during normal business hours.

Should you have a question about official Aloha Pacific FCU communications, always visit our website ( or contact us directly.


Hawaii Domestic Violence Victims Authorized to Use Stun Guns?

I never really followed legislative bills at all, but just because they are so easy to look at now, without trucking yourself down to the capitol to get a look at, I’ve been taking a look at a few of them.

Here is another one that I don’t think will fly at all:

Senators Espero, Bunda, Gabbard, Galuteria, and  Hemmings all helped to introduce Senate Bill 541.

I myself often wonder if they should even be used by Law Enforcement officers at times.  I certainly don’t think they should go into the hands of domestic violence victims.

How about enforcing restraining orders?

More on the bill here.

Report Title: Weapons; Stun Guns; Domestic Violence
Description: Authorizes victims of domestic violence to acquire a stun gun; provided that: (1) they do not have any mental condition that would make them a danger to society or themselves; (2) they complete a training course in the use of stun guns; and (3) the authorization to use a stun gun is reevaluated on an annual basis. Requires program to be administered by county police departments.

Another Thug Attacks Defenseless Woman on Big Island

Yesterday I posted the Police Report about the two thugs that assaulted and ripped off a woman and then took her moped near Kalapana.

Todays “Local Thug Report“:

The Hawaii Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying a man responsible for assaulting a 61-year-old woman on a hiking trail in Kona on January 18.

The victim was walking on the Upper Walua Road trail when an unknown man choked her with his arm and then ran away.

The man is described as Filipino/local and in his 30s, about 5-foot-8 with dark eyes, dark hair and a raspy voice. He was wearing checkered green pants, tennis shoes and a beige shirt with a geometric pattern in the center.

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 Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

I wish some of these thugs would run across the wrong person at the wrong time and just get their ass handed to them!

Police Looking for Thugs Who Assault and Steal Moped From Lady on H-130 Near Kalapana

Media Release

The Hawaii Police Department is requesting the public’s help in identifying a pair of males who were last seen in the Kalapana area in the early evening hours of January 13.

At approximately 7:15 p.m., a 22-year-old woman was riding her moped southbound on Route 130 near the 17-mile marker when she was stopped by a red newer-model Honda sedan. A local male exited the front passenger seat and started yelling at her. He struck her twice on the side of her head and pushed her to the ground. He then drove off with the victim’s moped, following the red Honda, which continued traveling southbound on Route 130.

The suspect is described as a local male, 5-foot-11 to 6-feet tall, 170-180 pounds with a short-trimmed mustache.

Police ask anyone with information on this case call Lieutenant Mitchell Kanehailua at 961-2252 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Senate Committee on Water and Land to Hold Public Hearing on Chaining Dogs

I blogged earlier about how much I have a distaste for people that allow their dogs to roam free w/out fenced in yards.  My wife has a permanent scar on her face from being attacked by a dog on her own street.

It is people that “Tethered” their dog by keeping them tied up most of the time that mauled my wife.

People… if you have a dog on your property… please get a fence and keep them fenced in. Why tie your dog up all the time?

The Senate Committee on Water and Land will be holding a public hearing on “tethering” animals this Friday at 3:00 PM in the capital conference room 229.


Animal Welfare; Tethering

Prohibits, with exceptions, the practice of tethering dogs.

SECTION 2. Chapter 711, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

Ҥ711- Dog tethering. (a) It shall be unlawful to tether, fasten, chain, tie, or restrain a dog, or cause a dog to be tethered, fastened, chained, tied, or restrained, to a dog house, tree, fence, or any other stationary object.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), a person may:

(1) Attach a dog to a running line, pulley, or trolley system, so long as the dog is not tethered to the running line, pulley, or trolley system by means of a choke collar or pinch collar;

(2) Tether, fasten, chain, tie, or otherwise restrain a dog pursuant to the requirements of a camping or recreational area;

(3) Tether, fasten, chain, or tie a dog no longer than is necessary for the person to complete a temporary task that requires the dog to be restrained for a reasonable period;

(4) Tether, fasten, chain, or tie a dog while engaged in, or actively training for, an activity that is conducted pursuant to a valid license issued by the State of Hawaii if the activity for which the license is issued is associated with the use or presence of the dog; or

(5) Tether, fasten, chain, or tie a dog while actively engaged in any of the following:

(A) Conduct that is directly related to the business of shepherding or herding cattle or livestock; or

(B) Conduct that is directly related to the business of cultivating agricultural products, if the restraint is reasonably necessary for the safety of the dog.

Full detail of bill here.

Tsunami Exercise Designed to Tighten Civil Defense Procedures

Media Release – Pictures Provided by County

A tsunami wasn’t really on the way, but the County was preparing for one anyway on Tuesday morning. It was Hawaii County’s first island-wide tsunami alert exercise, a test of the county’s response to a tsunami warning.


A few minor glitches occurred, but that was part of the exercise. “If we find out where the glitches are now, we can have them straightened out for when the real event occurs,” said County Civil Defense Director Quince Mento.

The County’s Civil Defense, Police, Fire and Public Works departments became busy shortly after 8 a.m. with a simulated warning that a potentially destructive tsunami was on its way from Alaska.


Works Department employee Sean Knell plants a warning flag at the corner of Kinoole and Mamo streets in downtown

County crews delivered barricades and flag markers to each intersection around the island where traffic would normally be turned away from the designated Tsunami Inundation Zones. Police officers delivered 1,200 flyers to motorists informing them of the exercise and explaining what would have happened had it been a real alert.

“The safety of our island residents is our number one priority and I want to commend Quince Mento and everyone involved for their efforts to ensure that we are prepared in the event of an emergency,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “With exercises like this, we can be assured that our County public safety agencies are doing all they can to protect our residents and our community.”

Minute-by minute developments in the exercise were posted in a Web log that can be viewed by State Civil Defense officials on Oahu, a feature that helps state authorities keep track of events on the Big Island and more rapidly respond to any calls for assistance.

Workers in the Civil Defense command post included representatives from nine county departments including police and fire as well as The American Red Cross, the Civil Air Patrol, an organization of ham radio operators, the Hawaii National Guard and a number of state agencies.

As part of the exercise, police around the island simulated “drive through notifications,” traveling the routes they would drive to issue warnings using the public address systems on their vehicles.


County Police Officer John Stewart handing a motorist a flyer explaining the tsunami exercise at the corner of Kinoole and Ponohawai streets in downtown Hilo

Off-duty dispatchers from the Fire Department dispatch center also simulated shifting their dispatch operation to the Civil Defense command post, a step that would be necessary in a real emergency because the Fire dispatch center is in the tsunami evacuation area.

The county’s new City Watch electronic notification system was used to notify county agencies that the alert was in effect. Mento said a few problems – state highway officials were left off the list, for example — were identified and will be addressed.

Once Civil Defense officials received word that all barricades were delivered to the key intersections and that the intersections were staffed by police officers, the exercise was declared over at 9:45 a.m.

Agencies and departments will be reviewing their response procedures internally in preparation for a county-wide review of the exercise in about 10 days, Mento said.

Tsunami Education: A Blueprint for Coastal Communities (Final Document January 2009)

I noticed that the Final Document of “Tsunami Education: A Blueprint for Coastal Communities” was released recently.

It’s a 90 page document prepared by Kylie Alexandria, Genevieve Cain and Patsy Iwasaki.   It was funded by The County of Hawai’i Planning Department State Office of Planning – Coastal Zone Management Program.

I only briefly scanned through it.  I don’t live in a Tsunami Zone, but those who do, I highly suggest reading it or at least skimming through parts that could be relevant to saving your life.

I also want to keep reminding folks that on TUESDAY, January 27th, the Big Island will be having Island Wide Tsunami Drills.

I added the icon of the infamous clock that somehow survived the Hilo Tsunami on the left.  If you click on that, it will take  you to a file that the government released about how to “Survive a Tsunami”


So click here to see the Final Document that the County has released on it’s website.

“Spitfire Grill” The Movie that “Essay House” Scams are Based Upon

I’ve been writing about the Essay Houses that a mainland scammer named Mark Samwick has been running of late.

Here is the movie that has inspired this whole genre of essay houses (I’m trying to find a copy that has more then just the “Score” from the movie):


“An aging woman wants to put her grill up as a contest with the winner taking the grill.To enter you must spend $100 and you are in the pot.The person with the best reason to want the grill will win it.The woman obtains over $200,000.A tragedy occurs before the winner is picked.”

Dog Nappers in Paradise?

At the Weed & Seed meeting the other day, one of the members asked the police in attendance if the police had noticed an increase in dog thefts lately in Puna.

Specifically purebreds were allegedly being targeted.

Anyone hear anything about about some dog nappers in Puna?

There was even talk at this meeting about how valuable some of these dogs can get.

The police said there was nothing that indicated that it was becoming a problem, however, they do suggest people call the police if they suspect their dog was stolen.

Windsurfers vs. The Superferry… What Buffer Zone?

I could have sworn that the coast guard promised to prosecute anyone that got this close to the Superferry.

Good thing these windsurfers didn’t have terrorist thoughts. :roll:


Pahoa Weed & Seed: More on Bike Patrol

I blogged previously that Pahoa would be getting a “Bike Patrol” with funds from the Weed and Seed money.

I just got back from the weed and seed meeting held at the community center, and it turns out that the Bike Patrol will be used more for special assignments instead of an actual Block Watch.

$4500 is being moved from “Crime Mapping Software”, that the officers at the meeting said is no longer needed with the technology we have today, to the Bike Patrol. Training will begin soon.

Also, if anyone knows an area within Pahoa Town, that the Weed & Seed committee could store a 20′ Matson container, they are looking for a place to store one.

*Update* Weird Hilo Assault… Don’t Always Believe What I Say!

*update* Somehow I read this report wrong and unfairly titled the headline. It’s now been changed thanks to John over at Kona – A Pedestrian View.

Media Release

Hawaii Police are investigating a robbery reported early Monday morning (January 12) in Hilo.

At about 2:40 a.m., South Hilo patrol officers responded to a report of a man being assaulted at Kalakaua Park in downtown Hilo.

Sometime between 2:30 a.m. and 2:35 a.m. Monday, an unidentified Caucasian man approached the victim and asked if he wanted to buy marijuana. An unidentified Hawaiian man struck the victim on the head with what is being described as a metal object.

The Hawaiian man stole an undisclosed amount of cash from the victim.

The Caucasian man fled the area on foot, and the Hawaiian man fled riding a bicycle.

The Caucasian suspect is described as in his 20s, approximately 5-foot-7, 170 pounds with short hair. He was swearing a black hat and dark shirt.

The Hawaiian man is described as in his 20s, approximately 5-foot-5 with short, curly black hair.

The victim was treated for his injuries at Hilo Medical Center and later released.

Police ask anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who has any information about the suspects to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

I just have to ask this simple question… How do they know for sure it’s a “Hawaiian” man?

Follow Up to the Island Trust Break-In… Bike Patrol to Start in Pahoa

Five days ago I blogged about the Pahoa Branch of Island Trust Real Estate being broken into.

Pahoa Branch of Island Trust Properties

Pahoa Branch of Island Trust Properties

This follows the Christmas Eve burglaries of several Pahoa town businesses.

Two good news items to follow up on this.

I received the following email from the owner of Island Trust:

“…The police finally called me back about the break-in (it took ’em 6 days..)
According to the officer, it seems that there was some event happening at Shaka’s, and a witness saw two “males” kick the door in. The witness called the cops and they showed up and actually arrested one of the guys.
He was a 17-year old juvenile, and he was booked and released. He has to appear in Family Court for it. The total for the damage / repair was almost $800…

I appreciate the follow-up on the incident and it’s good to know that this was a random incident that was not apparently related to the other burglaries.

The other good news.

I attended the Pahoa Main Street Association meeting last night, and it was mentioned that a Bike Patrol would soon be started up using funds from the federal “Weed and Seed” program.

I forgot to ask who would be running the program, but after a follow up email, I learned that the Police Department will be running it.

It was almost three years ago that US Attorney gave Pahoa $175,000 for the weed and seed program.

Another look back at the announcement by US Attorney Ed Kubo can be found here.

I sure hope the Bike Patrol works and that it is good use of the funds.  I know of a bunch of people who would just love to ride around the town at night for probably a third of what the officers will be making. :roll:

I’m not sure when it’s going to be starting up… but don’t be shocked to see police officers riding bikes around 24 hours a day now.


State Plans to Poison Wild Honey Bees in Hilo… Eat No Public Honey For Three Weeks

The state Department of Agriculture plans to poison wild honey bee hives in Hilo as an emergency measure to stop a growing infestation of bee-killing varroa mites, and warns the public against eating honey from wild hives over the next three weeks

More Here

*Update* Pahoa Town Getting Ripped Off… Thieves Make Hole in Cash and Carry Roof Last Night!


John Burnett has an excellent report in today’s Tribune Herald.


In the last week, three businesses have been ripped off and Cash and Carry just had an attempted burglary last night!

We need to catch these effing punks!

I stopped by Rudedogg Tattoo today to discuss with the owner about the recent ripoffs, however, he wasn’t in so I snapped a few pictures and talked to the crew that was in the store at the time.


The workers inside the shop mentioned that the burglars attempted to pry open the window on the left side of the door and were unable to, however, they were able to pry open the window on the right side.

Marks left on right side of window

Marks left on right side of window

They took most of the crews equipment and the only thing keeping the shop in business is some of the personal supplies of the workers themselves.  The crooks apparently weren’t interested in the nice chair.


The crew in the shop, mentioned that one of the workers truck was stolen from right out in front of the business less then two weeks ago, but the truck was later recovered…”Without the help of police”.


Jan’s Barbershop was also a victim of this latest crime spree, although I didn’t get to speak to the owner for long.


Luquins Restaurant was also targeted.  My understanding is that Liquor was taken, but I forgot to ask the bartender what else was taken.


And just last night, Pahoa Cash and Carry was the victim of an attempted break-in.


When I was talking to one of the managers that opened the store this morning, she said the thieves attempted to break in through the ceiling around 3:00 in the morning, however, there were painters that just happened to be inside the store working at night, so the thieves didn’t actually get into the store as the painters scared them off.

Hole in ceiling of Pahoa Cash and Carry leading to the roof of the building.

Hole in ceiling of Pahoa Cash and Carry leading to the roof of the building.

After talking to a few people in the above establishments, it is known that there is a video of at least one of these break-ins.

If I’m able to obtain a copy… I’ll post a copy of the alleged thieves here.

It’s a Big Island… but word travels fast.  Lets get these bastards!

Police Looking For Ronsten Andrade


Click Picture for Police Report on Missing Teen

Click Picture for Police Report on Missing Teen

Big Island Police are looking for this punk  for various crimes throughout the Puna area.   He may be armed and dangerous.  Call 911 if you see him.