***Commentary***Ode To 2008


MAHALO, 2008.  I couldn't be more grateful.

MAHALO, 2008. I couldn't be more grateful.

Despite a war in the Middle East and a global financial crisis, I can only look back at 2008 with gratitude.  It was in March 2008 that my life was completely transformed with the birth of my daughter.   It’s hard to think of my life before her. She is my greatest teacher.

This past year had a lot of firsts for me.  Of course, I gave birth to my daughter, but I also launched a blog. Big Island Chronicle, like my daughter, is very much in the infancy stages, but bound for greatness.

As for 2009, the other day I was at my friend’s house jotting down my list of new year’s resolutions, “mother more, love more, surf more, blog more, garden more…” My friend reminded me of the kumu we share, Dr. Manu Meyer, and how she approaches the new year.  Pick a word.  Pick the first word that pops in your head when someone says, “pick a word.”  My friend picked “security.”  I picked “creativity.”  I think that accurately describes what I want to accomplish in 2009.

What’s your word?  Just remember, the first word that comes to you is the one.  

***Island News***Fellowship Program Offered To Native Hawaiian Scholars

The Mellon-Hawaii Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program provides Native Hawaiian scholars the opportunity to complete their dissertations or to publish original research. Applications for the 2009-2010 fellowship program are being accepted by The Kohala Center.

The Mellon-Hawaii Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program supports Native Hawaiian scholars who are early in their academic careers and others who are committed to the advancement of scholarship on Hawaiian cultural and natural environments, Hawaiian history, politics and society.

The program is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Kamehameha Schools. Postdoctoral fellowships of $50,000 each and doctoral fellowships of $40,000 each will be awarded to successful candidates for the academic year September 2009 through June 2010.

The program allows doctoral fellows to complete their dissertations before accepting their first academic posts, and postdoctoral fellows have the opportunity to publish original research early in their academic careers.

Native Hawaiian scholars who are Ph.D. candidates or who have earned a Ph.D. in any field in the arts and sciences are eligible to apply. Preference is given to those

·       who demonstrate scholarly and leadership promise;

·       whose research involves the Hawaiian natural or cultural environment, or Hawaiian history, politics, and society;

·       who have had a history of service to the Hawaiian community and to society as a whole; and

·       who reside in Hawaii or whose research requires extended periods of time in Hawaii.

Native Hawaiian scholars in any residential or external degree program of a fully accredited U.S.-based institution, or institutions abroad, are eligible.

Applications must be postmarked or hand-delivered by 5 p.m. Monday, February 23, 2009. Mail to The Kohala Center, Mellon-Hawaii Fellowship Program, P.O. Box 437462, Kamuela, Hawaii 96743. Hand-deliver to The Kohala Center, 65-1291A Kawaihae Road, Kamuela, Hawaii 96743.

For application information and forms, visit http://www.kohalacenter.org/mellonapp.html, e-mail info@kohalacenter.org or call The Kohala Center at 808-887-6411.

The Kohala Center is assisted in selecting successful candidates for the Mellon-Hawaii Fellowship by Robert Lindsey Jr, Dr. Shawn Kana‘iaupuni, Dr. Dennis Gonsalves, Dr. Pualani Kanahele, and Dr. James Kauahikaua.

This is the second year fellowships will be awarded. Doctoral Fellows for 2008-2009 are Noelani Arista, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Brandeis University, and Nanette Nalani Sing, Ph.D. candidate in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in educational leadership/systems from Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The postdoctoral fellowships were awarded in 2008-2009 to B. Kamanamaikalani Beamer, Ph.D. in geography from the University of Hawaii at Manoa; Sydney L. Iaukea, Ph.D. in political science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa; and Kathleen L. Kawelu, Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley, May 2007.

David C. Engerman, associate professor of History at Brandeis University and advisor to Noelani Arista, said, “Even in its first year, the Mellon-Hawaii program has established its importance–no, centrality–to intellectual life on the islands.”

The Kohala Center is an independent, not-for-profit center for research and education about and for the environment. By respectfully engaging Hawaii Island as the world’s most vibrant classroom and laboratory for humanity, The Kohala Center builds teaching and research programs that enhance island environments, serve island communities, and advance the work of the academy. The Kohala Center operates in partnership with local, national, and international research and educational institutions. Among its current project partners are Hawaii Community College, the Edith Kanakaole Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Kamehameha Schools, the University of Hawaii, Brown University, Cornell University, the Redlands Institute, the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. See www.kohalacenter.org.

***Commentary***Every Breath Is A Gift, Harry


Harry Kim when he left public office

Harry Kim when he left public office



Harry Kim

Harry Kim when he first took office

When the Hawaii Tribune-Herald did a piece recently about our retiring Mayor Harry Kim, reporter Jason Armstrong mentioned two stickers posted on the mayor’s desk, “Think Peace” and “Every Breath Is A Gift.”

Several years ago, while visiting with Mayor Kim for a story for the West Hawaii Today, I gave those stickers to him.  At the time, I was just giving the mayor a couple of stickers I had in a larger bundle sent from a friend with a sticker company.  Now, in retrospect, I see how appropriate it was for me to give him those exact stickers.

Having had heart problems and now looking at surgery for debilitating back pain, it is clear that the last eight years of service have not been easy on our mayor. He retired as Civil Defense administrator after 20 years, considered a legend in his field and even referred to as such by the renowned naturalist author John McPhee.  

I wonder if the mayor regrets his decision to enter public office in 2000.  About ten months into his first mayoral term, the September 11th terroristic attacks occurred and an international war on terror ensued and continued throughout both of his terms.  While there was a war abroad to fret over, the mayor had to deal with another war here, one that West Hawaii Today editor Reed Flickinger waged against his administration.  It definitely was not easy being criticized and caricatured at every turn in his tenure as mayor. 

While the mayor couldn’t stay out of the office Civil Defense, and I think ran off my friend, former Civil Defense Administrator Troy Kindred, because of his micromanagement, I think the mayor did what he could to make our island “a nice place to live.”  That was his goal, after all. 

I hope, for the sake of his family and his own health, he truly will chant the mantra “every breath is a gift,” and settle down into the quiet life of retirement.  Enjoy that hapa-haole grand baby, Harry.  Go talk to your favorite fish in Kapoho like you used to every weekend.  Don’t think about the flood we are having right now.  Let Quince Mento, our trusty new Civil Defense administrator, get on the radio and tell us with HIS very own re-assuring voice that everything is going to be just fine.

Think peace, Harry.  It begins with us.

***Island News***Public Works: Flood-related Resources Are Available

Rain-Damaged Carport

Rain-Damaged Carport

As winter storms deluge parts of the Big island with record levels of rain, the County of Hawaii Floodplain Management program reminds residents of resources to help them prepare for and recover from floods, a county Public Works press release states.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) publications on how to protect yourself and your home are available online at the FEMA Web site (www.fema.gov/hazard/flood/index.shtm), according to the release.

Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness, FEMA’s most comprehensive source on individual, family, and community preparedness, can be downloaded at www.fema.gov/areyouready.

FEMA publications available at Big Island libraries include Design Guidelines for Flood Damage Reduction, Coastal Construction Manual, Floodproofing Non-Residential Structures and Answers to Questions About the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program).

For more information about the National Flood Insurance Program, purchasing flood insurance and to determine your risk of flooding, see www.floodsmart.gov.

Another online resource with tips to help you prepare for possible flooding is the American Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org/). In its Hurricane Preparedness Guide, the Hawaii County Civil Defense includes lists for creating home survival and evacuation kits that also work for other types of flooding. Log onto the National Weather Service (www.weather.gov/alerts/hi.html) for flood watches and warnings.

Wondering how to cope with a flooded home or property?  These downloadable publications and Web sites provide helpful information:

·         After a Flood: The First Steps (FEMA L-198) provides Information for homeowners on preparedness, safety, and recovery from a flood (www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=1684).

·         Repairing Your Flooded Home (FEMA 234) is a 60-page booklet prepared by FEMA and the Red Cross on how to perform simple home repairs after flooding, including cleaning, sanitation, and determining which professionals to involve for various needed services (www.redcross.org/services/disaster/0,1082,0_570_,00.html).

·         Hawaii State Civil Defense Disaster Recovery (http://www.scd.state.hi.us/recovery.html).

The County of Hawaii is developing flood prevention awareness programs including a new Web site as part of a community rating system to reduce flood insurance premiums for Big Island businesses and residents.

Contact Person:          Warren H. W. Lee, P.E.

                                 Director, Department of Public Works

(808) 961-8321 Monday – Friday 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

(808) 557-6437 After hours, Noelani Whittington

(www.co.hawaii.hi.us  Click on Public Works)


***Hilo Bulletin*** Bayfront/Waianuenue Intersection Signal Not Working

The traffic signal at the intersection of Bay front highway and the oceanside of Waianuenue Avenue in Downtown Hilo is not working.  The traffic signal continues to flash intermittently causing motorists to slow down.   Heavy rains have short-circuited wires and Public Works personnel are at the site fixing the problem.

Intermittent flashing lights at the intersection of Bay front highway and the Oceanside of Waianuenue Ave. in downtown Hilo is expected to continue throughout the day, and maybe New Year’s Eve.

***KONA NEWS***’Iolani Luahine Hula Workshop And Festival To Be Held In Kona On Jan. 31, 2009


The Iolani Luahine will be a daylong festival Jan. 31 at the Keauhou Beach Resort.

The Iolani Luahine will be a daylong hula workshop and festival Jan. 31 at the Keauhou Beach Resort.

 E Komo Mai Kakou! Learn about and celebrate the life of the great hula master ‘Iolani Luahine in a day-long festival, January 31, 2008 at the Keauhou Beach Resort.  Celebrate her birthday with some of Hawaii’s prestigious hula masters, all students of Aunty ‘Iolani Luahine, sharing her hula in a workshop for all to participate. The event, A Lei Of Remembrance — He Lei Hiwa No ‘Iolani Luahine, will include a special appearance by Hula Loea Master George Naope. Hula workshops are being offered in both kahiko (traditional) and ‘auana (modern).

The day-long festival includes a tour of the newly rebuilt Hapaiali’I, Ke’eku and Makolea heiau by Kamehameha Investment Corporation.  

Theevening will culminate with a film featuring ‘Iolani Luahine and her hula.   Enjoy delicious “poi supper” with entertainment by Darlene Ahuna and Lena Naipo and the Hawaiians Unlimited.  A panel discussion will follow with ‘Iolani Luahine’s students: Aunty Queenie Dowsett, Aunty Hilda Keana‘aina, Uncle George Naope, Hoakaleihina Kamau‘u, Poni Kamau‘u and Nathan Napoka.

A Lei Of Remembrance – He Lei Hiwa No ‘Iolani Luahine is supported in part by the county Research and Development, the  Keauhou Beach Resort, the Kamehameha Investment Corporation, the Hula Preservation Society, and Hula Halau O Kou Lima Nani E, Inc.

 Purchase tickets from Leo at (808) 966-9845 or purchase them at the Keauhou Beach Resort. Ask about their special kama’aina room rate of $119.00 a night, which includes breakfast for two.

For more information, call Skylark Rossetti at (808) 935-2180.

***KONA NEWS***Kona Joe Creates Hawaii-Kenya Coffee Blend To Honor President-elect Obama


Barack O Blend

Barack O Blend

KAINALIU, Hawaii — Like most in Hawaii, Kona coffee farmers Joe and Deepa Tiare Alban closely followed Barack Obama’s path to the White House over the last year.
Once the election was over, the couple mulled the best way to celebrate the occasion and inspiration was not long coming  – create the “Barack O Blend.”
“Like everyone else, my husband and I were excited and we wanted to create something for our native born son of Hawaii,” said Alban, founder of Kona Joe Coffee and a native of Hawaii. 
The Barack O Blend comprises Hawaiian Indonesian and Kenya coffees, blended into a rich, smooth cup of joe.
“The presidential blend honors Hawaii and Kenya, two of the great coffee growing regions in the world,” Alban said. “It also is a way to honor Barack Obama’s personal story, which goes from Hawaii to Indonesia and back again, and now reaches all the way to the White House. It’s a way to recognize his place in history.”
To keep things patriotic, the Barack O Blend was packed by war veterans.
“It was important to make this a very special product,” Alban said. “My father and my husband’s father are war veterans, and I’ve always had great respect and admiration for all our military personnel. I’m really pleased to include some war veterans in the creation of the Barack O Blend.”
The veterans are part of the New Directions program, which offers a range of services for veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Kona Joe Coffee is owned and operated by Deepa Tiare Alban along with her husband Joe Alban. They have been growing award-winning coffee beans for more than a decade on their 20-acre plantation on the southwestern slopes of Mount Hualalai, 1,000 feet above Kealakekua Bay.
Kona Joe Coffee also offers fully narrated tours of the plantation – from the 20 acres of coffee trees to the on-site milling and roasting room to the farm’s expresso bar to sample the award-winning product. The estate also features a gift shop/art gallery. 
The special Barack O Blend can be purchased at the farm, or on the Internet at www.konajoe.com. 
For further information, please call 808-896-8888.
Kona Joe Coffee is the world’s first trellised coffee farm.  The farm has received international acclaim for growing coffee like wine.  For more information about their unique cultivation methods visit www.konajoe.com.

***Island News***$1.8 MILLION Pohoiki Bypass In Puna Is Open; Several Other Public Works Projects Are Planned For January


prayer for a road

prayer for a road

The three-quarters of a mile long county bypass road that cost taxpayers $1.8 million is now open.  It will allow motorists to avoid the portion of coastal Highway 137 near Isaac Kepo’okalani Hale Beach Park where it routinely floods during high tides. William C. Loeffler Construction Inc., was the contractor for the project.

Meanwhile, following are Public Works projects planned for the duration of December and through most of January:

A new left turn and pedestrian walkway in Waimea

Resurfacing and marking for a new left turn lane on Māmalahoa Highway fronting Waimea Elementary School to improve the flow of traffic begins Tuesday, December 30, weather permitting.

The existing walkway on Māmalahoa Highway from Kaomoloa drive to the Waimea Elementary School access road will also be extended.  This provides a safe walking path for school children and pedestrians.  Improvements scheduled to be completed in mid-January.

Waika’alulu Gulch Bridge in Kalopa closed Jan. 5 for repairs

Waika’alulu Gulch Bridge on Kalopa Road will be closed for repairs starting Monday, January 5, for a month.  Only local traffic will be allowed beyond the barricades on Kalōpā Road. Repairs will be done by contractor, William K. Kapololu Jr.

Traffic on the east side of the bridge is advised to use Papalele Road to connect with Highway 19 while the bridge is closed. Access to the Kalopa Park will be on Papalele Road. Residents are asked to use Hoo Kahua Road, Papalele Road or Ka’apahu roads to cross the Waika’alulu Gulch.

The bridge will be closed 24 hours a day and is scheduled to reopen February 4. Weather conditions could suspend the work and delay the opening of the bridge.

There are six bridges that cross different sections of the Waika’alulu gulch in Kalopa, and they all share the same name, Waika’alulu. 

This is the third Waika’alulu gulch bridge to be repaired as part of the Public Works regular maintenance schedule. Add the contractor for this job.

For up-to-date information, please call the County Hotline at 334-9559.

Improvements in Kainaliu resume Monday, January 5

Sidewalk improvements will resume on the mauka side of Mamalahoa highway, just beyond Showcase Gallery then move across Mamalahoa highway.

This is part of the $1.5 million improvements package to address the flow of traffic in north Kona, improve parking and upgrade sidewalks to meet requirements for the American Disabilities Act. Construction is scheduled for completion in April. For weekly changes to the work schedule, please call the County Hotline at 334-9559.

Traffic signal light bulbs, nearing the end of their six-year life cycle will be replaced starting the second week of January at 96 county and state road and highway intersections around the island. This is part of the preventive maintenance program. 

Work will begin in Kona. Crews will work two days a week until March, then move to East Hawaii. No traffic delays are anticipated. Used light bulbs and electronic material will be recycled.

The proposed Kalopa bypass, an alternate route to the area, will be discussed at the January 8 community meeting hosted by Councilman Dominic Yagong.  The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Paauilo School Cafeteria.

Public Works staff will present plans for the new 4,000-foot road scheduled for construction in 2009 at an estimated cost of $ 3.4 million.

The Kalopa Sand Gulch Road was closed for a month in 2006 due to earthquake damage forcing 75-100 area residents to make lengthy, daily detours to and from their homes. 

January 8 Kealaka’a will be closed for repairs

Kealaka’a street in north Kona will be closed for road construction starting January 8. Workers will be reconstructing 500-feet of pavement starting from the intersection of Kealaka’a and Palani road. Motorists are asked to use Ulua’o’a Street. Roadwork will is scheduled between 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Completion is scheduled for January 15.  For up-to-date information, please call the County Hotline at 334-9559.

New traffic signals at Kinoole and Kamana

New traffic signals at the corner of Kinoole and Kamana streets in Hilo will start operating on Thursday, January 8.  The new traffic signal will have a countdown clock for pedestrians crossing the street.

(Please call the County Hotline at 334-9559 for updates should weather conditions interrupt the construction schedule.)

Former Puna Councilman Gary Safarik (L), Mayor Billy Kenoi, and Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole

Former Puna Councilman Gary Safarik (L), Mayor Billy Kenoi, and Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole




Politicans love babies

Politicans love babies

***Island News***Woman’s Body Found Floating In Ocean Near Hilo Bay

Hawaii Police Department
Criminal Investigations Section, Area I
Lieutenant Mitchell Kanehaulua
Phone: 961-2252
December 28, 2008
Report No. C08038971

Media Release

The Hawaii Police Department is asking for the public’s help in providing any information about a body found floating near Hilo Bay on Sunday morning.

A fisherman reported finding the body floating near the break wall just outside Hilo Bay shortly before 11 a.m. Hawaii Fire Department personnel airlifted the body to the Hilo pier. The body appears to be that of a Caucasian female between 35 and 45 years old.

Police ask that anyone with information about this case call detective Reed Mahuna at 961-2384 or 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.

***Commentary***Blogger Damon Tucker And His Run-In With The Pahoa Postmaster And Police

Within days of my Dec. 17th post about the Lower Puna community outgrowing its Pahoa Post Office, Blogger Damon Tucker went down to the post office to take pictures.  My blog entry had focused on the long lines being serviced by one teller, but Tucker keyed in on the Americans with Disability Act problem there.  Just as he was wrapping up his photographs of various aspects of the post office parking lot, the postmaster inquired what he was doing. Upon discovering Tucker was taking photographs, the postmaster claimed it was a federal violation to do so there and called police.  Tucker snapped a photo of police arriving, much to the chagrin of one of the arriving officers. Tucker alleges the officer insisted rather adamantly — possibly as far as abusing her power — that he erase the photo of her arriving on the scene.  Now, Tucker’s focus is not on the problems associated with the Pahoa Post Office, but on the police officer’s behavior during his encounter with her. Tucker is mulling over whether he wants to file a complaint with the Hawaii County Police Commission regarding the incident that occurred Wednesday, Dec. 24th.

“A three page letter is currently being tossed around by people in the legal community that know more about ‘Blog laws,’ ‘Reporting laws,’ and ‘Shield laws,’” Tucker wrote in an email on Saturday, Dec. 27th.

Tucker wasn’t inclined to release the three-page letter just yet. “It’s been left on my shoulders if I want to release it or not since the incident happened to me.  I don’t really want a target on my back for bringing a complaint against the PD.  However, others are encouraging me to go forward with it on the grounds of principle alone.  I’m thinking on it… and it may be a few days before I come to a decision, Tucker said.  He had not made a decision by press time.

Based on Tucker’s account of events, on Friday, Dec. 26th, I sent the  following to Police Chief Harry Kubojiri via email:

“I understand police were called to the Pahoa post office recently, after blogger Damon Tucker was taking pictures of the Americans with Disability Act accessibility problem at this antiquated site.  Tucker’s account of his interaction with police is now the subject of bloggers.  This run-in with the cops is eclipsing the main issue I first raised in the blogosphere: the post office has outgrown it’s community.

Based on written accounts of this blogger/police run-in, I have some questions:

1. According to police, what happened?

2. Is it illegal to take pictures inside or outside the post office?

3. Is it illegal to take pictures of police officers?

4.  What is Officer Lee’s first name?”

As far as I’m concerned, the public has a right to take photographs of any government building they deem unfit for operations.  The Lower Puna community has outgrown its post office, and Americans with Disability Act access is just one problem that needs to be addressed at the Pahoa Post Office.  It is the press — and bloggers should meet the definition of the press — that shines light on these problems that our government officials must deal with for the sake of health and safety.  For the police officer to take issue with her photograph being taken, and to demand that the blogger, i.e., the press, erase the photograph, on first glance appears to be totally inappropriate. Taking a police officer’s photograph to illustrate that police were called merely because a blogger was taking photographs of the post office parking lot, I think is appropriate.  News flash: police officers work by and for the public.   Officer Lee: Smile, you work for us.

***Island News***The Superferry Chronicles Book-Launch Parties To Occur On The Big Island Monday, Jan. 12th Through Wednesday, Jan. 14th


The Superferry Chronicles

The Superferry Chronicles



Following are details of The Superferry Chronicles Book-Launch Celebrations
 with authors Koohan Paik and Jerry Mander


Monday, Jan 12, 2009 – Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i Island
 6:30 p.m. – Kona Outdoor Circle, 76-6280 Kuakini Highway 
with Mayumi Oda, Dr. Lee Tepley, and Jeff Sacher.

Contact Chelsea Haworth, 808-443-9984.

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 – Hilo, Hawai’i Island
 6:00 p.m. – Kahuina Gallery, 128 Kilauea Ave. (at Mamo) 
with Jim Albertini and Dr. Lee Tepley.

Contact Kahuina Gallery, 808-935-4420.

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 – Hilo, Hawai’i Island
1:00 p.m. – University of Hawai’i – Hilo, Campus Center 301
with Jim Albertini and Dr. Lee Tepley.

Contact Justin Avery, 808-990-1421.

Friday, Jan 16, 2009 – Hana, Maui
 7:00 p.m. – Ala Kukui, 4224 Hana Highway. 

Contact Ala Kukui, 808-248-7841.

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 – Honolulu, O’ahu
  3:00 p.m. – Revolution Books, 2017 South King Street (at University) 
with Kyle Kajihiro and Ikaika Hussey.

Contact Revolution Books, 808-944-3106.

Monday, Jan 19, 2009 – Honolulu, O’ahu
 7:00 p.m. – Native Books, Ward Warehouse, 1050 Ala Moana Boulevard
, with Kyle Kajihiro and Ikaika Hussey.

Contact Native Books, 808-596-8885.

 In their just-released book, The Superferry Chronicles, Koohan Paik and Jerry Mander engagingly reveal their version of events: “An interisland ferry at safe speeds with thoughtful safeguards could be a blessing for the islands. The Hawaii Superferry has not even tried to meet these criteria. Never approved by the people of Hawai’i, without an environmental impact statement, amidst corporate-government collusion and a hidden military agenda, the Superferry rode in on a wave of deception.”

 Koohan Paik is a Kaua’i filmmaker, writer, and media-literacy educator. Jerry Mander, founder of the Public Media Center and International Forum on Globalization, has been called “the patriarch of the antiglobalization movement” by the New York TImes.  He is author of several bestselling books, including “Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television” and “In the Absence of the Sacred.

” Koohan Paik and Jerry Mander are said to “offer the world a wide interpretation of indigenous sensibility.”

 “We in Hawai’i are grateful and stand ready for more effective collaboration. It’s time to save this planet! I mua ka lahui o Hawaii-nui-akua. (Let us all move forward, all people of the world.)” They say.

Dr. Manulani Aluli Meyer, Hawaiian practitioner and educator

, says this about the recently culminated project: “I applaud the authors for bringing the voices of the grassroots to the foreground. The people make history, and the people of Kaua’i have made us proud. Kauli’i makou, nui ke aloha no ka ‘aina. (We are small in numbers, but our love for the land is great.)” -Ikaika Hussey, Publisher of The Hawaii Independent

, says this about the book: “The idea of boats to connect the Hawaiian Islands is so natural and lovely that it makes one doubly mad to read how in this case it’s been perverted into yet one more sad scheme for our paranoid future. Good for the people of Hawai’i who have raised the alarm, and to these authors for pulling back the curtain.”

 Koa Books published The Superferry Chronicles
A downloadable poster is available at www.superferrychronicles.com
.  The$20Paperback (ISBN 978-0-9773338-8-2) 
is Available at Basically Books, Native Books, Revolution Books, selected Borders stores (Maui, Kauai, Ala Moana, Hilo), and directly from the publisher.
  For more information, contact Koa Books, 808-875-7995, arnie@koabooks.com

***Commentary***What Happened To Chris Randrup?


Who Killed Chris Randrup?
Who Killed Chris Randrup?

It’s been a little over two weeks since Hans Christian “Chris” Randrup’s bullet-ridden body was found tossed off the sea cliffs fronting MacKenzie State Park, and at least one of his family members is wondering why there isn’t a suspect already behind bars.

The uncle of Chris Randrup, his namesake, is planning his trip to Hawaii to see his brother and Chris’s father, Randy Randrup, who is hospitalized on Oahu.

In a strange twist of fate, Randy Randrup was in a near-fatal, one-vehicle car collision in South Kona not too many hours after police found his son’s body across the island at MacKenzie State Park. 

Hans Christian Randrup, of Nevada, said his brother Randy is out of his reported coma, and will recover, but still in pretty bad shape in the hospital. He intends to visit him, possibly as soon as this week, and then hopes to stopover on the Big Island to meet with police.  He wants to know what leads police are pursuing and if there are any suspects.  He wants whoever killed his nephew behind bars, convicted and “hung from the highest tree.”

As far as his brother, Randy, being described by police as a “person of interest” before discovering him hospitalized from a car accident, Hans Christian Randrup wants police to come up with a new term.  The fact is, police couldn’t locate Randy Randrup after discovering his son and roommate had been murdered.  All indications are that police do not consider him a suspect.  Hans Christian Randrup described his brother as a “pacifist.”

“It would take some pretty hard evidence for me to believe my brother would do anything like that to his son,” Hans Christian Randrup said. Family friends have made similar statements about Randal Randrup, saying he loved his son and daughter more than anything and he gave whatever he could to his children.

Hans Christian Randrup has heard the same hearsay that I have heard and, out of respect for Chris and for his family, I’m just going to give police some time to conduct their investigation before I get in to the hearsay.

Suffice it to say, all throughout the community there is shock, disbelief, and hard-to-avoid talk about Chris’s disturbing death.

I drive behind a vehicle bearing the “Got Christ?” decal on the back window, except with the t in Christ scraped off.

I sit on the tailgate of my vehicle staring at the back of the truck bearing “Das Wrong” in spraypaint. I stare at the statement made by one of Chris’s friends as I listen to a friend share his thoughts about the murder. “The police need to find whoever did this and lock them up. There can’t be people like this, thinking it is okay to do that, out in our community.  If police don’t lock them up, the people will take care of them. It was Chris’s good karma that the ocean didn’t wash him away…”

I dream three men drive up to my family standing on the side of the road, presumably “suspects” whose faces are those conjured in a dream, and they point a gun at my family and warn me not to blog about the murder.

I think about my friend’s heartache over her brother’s death and father’s hospitalization, and I feel her heaviness.

This is why I didn’t ever think I was that good of a crime reporter. I personalize every crime I cover.  I feel the family’s pain, pining away as I try to solve a case.

I promised Chris Randrup’s family that I would keep his murder case in the public eye, as long as the details of his case are yet to come to light and a suspect is not behind bars. 

In light of this promise, I’d like to share a quote from an email I received from yet another friend about the case:

“The Chris Randrup slaying and the lack of police reporting has been appalling to me and other members of the local community.  This is a good test of our new police chief and the first evidence of his lack of control and concern for murders in Puna.

“As a very ordinary citizen, I am appalled that we have yet to be told, WHERE Randrup was murdered. Indoors or out of doors is an EZ determination.  I am not asking for what DVD was in his player at the time of death but WHERE.  Also, this fact would assist the police considerably if the public would be told WHAT WEAPON was used: Pistol, shot gun, 45, Uzi. We ALL know persons with guns and that would be a BIG help if the weapon was known… and of course LOCATED!

“I do not expect our good old boyZ police network to find the killer(s), as that is too MUCH work, but they could inform the PUBLIC of EVERY DETAIL, which is known (see above) and the public could help them locate the killers.  MOST Hawaii county crimes are solved by the PUBLIC… just give us the direct so we can get going on it…

“AND what of the Father Randrup’s ‘accident’?… was it a DUI, is he able to speak? What does Pops know and what does he NOT know? The public deserves to know as their killer is a killer among us.

The whole story is so full of holes this far… very, VERY Big Island.”

I include my friend’s email in this post as strong as some statements are, because I think he is thinking what a lot of people are thinking.

You know, there are people who get really worked up against all the “bad news” that are in newspapers and on television but, for the most part, people are very curious and hopefully compassionate about the tragedies of their neighbors.  And, like my friend, they want every detail they can about those tragedies, as if to offer them some sort of comfort.

I personally would like justice for Chris Randrup.  I have a lot more confidence in the police than a lot of people do, knowing many of the officers personally in my years of reporting on this island.  I understand why they want to hold their cards close to their chests.  They want to see who knows what, in order to help them ascertain who is/are the suspect(s). Should this murder go unsolved like others that have occurred here, I do have ultimate confidence in karma or destiny, if you will.

***Commentary***Big Island Chronicle Has Requested A List Of The Island’s Unsolved Murders

Many years ago, there was a guy named Hank Roberts, or “Hank 360” as he called himself, who used to testify frequently before the Hawaii County Council.  He was always there for anything having to do with marijuana eradication or, generally, the perceived robbery of his personal and every other American’s personal freedoms. 

Hank 360 disappeared, and his disappearance was publicized for some time.  Then he became a distant memory.  

Since Chris Randrup’s body was discovered a couple of weeks ago, I’ve thought about the slaying of Dana Ireland years back, and about Hank 360 and all the unsolved murders this island has had over the years.  On December 15, 2008, I wrote the following to our newly appointed Police Chief Harry Kubojiri:

“Dear Chief:


Congratulations!  I wish you all the best with your new post!

I’m writing to you to make a formal request on behalf of Tiffany Edwards Communications dba www.bigislandchronicle.com.  I would like to know: 1) how many unsolved murders have occurred in Puna over the years, as far back as police department records indicate; 2) how many unsolved murders have occurred islandwide — in each of the judicial districts — as far back as police department records indicate.   If possible, I would love to get more information about the unsolved murders than just the numbers alone.  I realize I am asking for a lot of information. 


 Ideally, I would like to know the number of unsolved murders in Puna first, and then if you could provide me with information about each of the other eight districts as you collect it, I would greatly appreciate the research efforts made.  A recent murder in Puna involving an acquaintance has got me thinking about the importance of revisiting and publicizing other murders that are yet to be solved here. I appreciate the information you can provide me. 


Happy Holidays.


Tiffany Edwards Hunt”

I have yet to hear from the chief, and reasonably so with the holidays. But as I receive information, know that I will share it with you.  Know that anybody that I name on this blog, particularly if it is crime-related, I will follow through with the reporting for the duration of the story. 

***Commentary***Police, I’d Like To Report An Abandoned Vehicle

To report an abandoned or derelict vehicle, call the police non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.  A police report must be generated before the county abandoned vehicle coordinator (in the Solid Waste Division) will put the abandoned or derelict vehicle on the list for hauling to the dump.  


Eh, Pyro! You Forgot Your Green And Yellow Visor!

Eh, Pyro! You Forgot Your Green And Yellow Visor!

Jade, your map was found next to a burnt car on G Road between Roads 4 and 3 in Hawaiian Acres. You are a "person of interest" in this case.

Jade, your map was found next to a burnt car on G Road between Roads 4 and 3 in Hawaiian Acres. You are a