Hilo News — Keolaokalani W. Kailianu Charged For Ted Braxton’s Death, Unable To Post Bail

Keolaokalani Kailianu

(Media release) — Police traffic investigators have charged Keolaokalani W. Kailianu, 41, of a Hilo address with negligent homicide in the first degree, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant and accident involving death or serious injury stemming from a motor vehicle/moped crash that killed 22-year-old UH Hilo student Ted Braxton at the intersection of Kino’ole Street and Hualālai Street on May 28.

Bail for Kailianu totaled $10,500. He was unable to post bail and remains confined at the Hilo police cellblock. 

(Edited release from the Hawaii Police Department via Nixle.)

Puna News — Help Police Locate Suspect In October Sexual Assault

(Media release) — Big Island police are requesting the public’s help in identifying and locating a man wanted for questioning in connection with a sexual assault of a female minor. The assault occurred on October 1, 2010, between 7 and 7:30 p.m. in Kurtistown in the Puna District.

The man is described as local, “scruffy” looking, 18-30 years old, 5-feet-7 to 5-feet 9, 150 to 175 pounds with a medium build, brown eyes, short buzz-cut black hair and a dark complexion. He was last seen wearing a blue aloha shirt with blue hibiscus print and driving a gold or light-colored four door Honda or Mazda sedan.

Detectives with the Juvenile Aid Section are continuing this investigation.

Police ask that anyone with information on his identity or location call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300 in Hilo or (808) 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. 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.

(Posted on the Hawaii Police Department website.)

Y o g a — Aadil Palkhivala Workshop At Big Island Yoga Center July 22-25

* Aadil Palkhivala *

July 22 – 25, 2011

Four Day All-Levels Workshop
Pre-requisite: one year of yoga experience
24 hours of instruction $360 if payment is made by June 22
See all details on website:
Registrar: Joan Hughes:  808.936.9243
email:  AADILsummer11@bigislandyoga.com

BIYC does NOT have available parking spaces during weekdays.

Students may park in the public parking lot south of Orchid Cafe, which is north of BIYC

or on Hale Ke Eke E Place south of BIYC and Kona Central Union Church.

Students may park in the lot in front of BIYC only after 4PM on weekdays and all day on weekends.

For any questions, please phone 329 YOGA (9642) or go to  www.bigislandyoga.com

Letters — Expressing Praise For Louie Perry


Louie Perry photo courtesy of Mar Ortaleza

Aloha Supporters of Louie Perry & Abled Hawai’i Artists (AHA) —

A quick note to let you know Louie’s results at Hawaii State Special Olympics last weekend:

  • GOLD Medal — individual 800 meter run (new personal/Hawai’i Special Olympics record)
  • GOLD Medal — 1,000 meter run
  • GOLD Medal —  long jump
  • SILVER Medal — 4×100

and to invite you to:

  • Wednesday, June 1  9 a.m., County Building- Certificate of Accomplishment Award- Hawai’i County Council meeting
  • Friday, June 10 between 6:30p.m. — 8:30 p.m. — Art show at Bayfront Kava — meet Louie & see his donated work, Poetry slam, lite pupu, kava
  • Wednesday, June 16 5:30 p.m. — 7:30 p.m. — World Special Olympics Sirius Send-Off potluck at Sirius Coffee (across from 711, Pahoa)

Mahalo for your support of Louie Perry, AHA & arts for all on Hawai’i Island!

Mar (Ortaleza)

Puna News — Science Cafe Is Friday


Keone Kalawe, Hui Kaha Pohaku, Kamehameha Schools

Mapping and restoration techniques

for Hawaiian archeological sites;

heiau restoration at Kahalu’u

Aoloa Suganuma and I’olani Kauhane

Mapping of Ahu-a-Umi Heiau, Kona

Hui Malama students

The long-lost art of plane table mapping

Science Café!

Hawaiian Archeological Sites

Want to know more about Science Cafes?  Go to sciencecafes.org.  You’ll find lots of information about cafes around the nation (including this one!).

Refreshments generously provided by Pahoa Island Naturals

Where: Hui Malama, Hawaii Academy of Arts & Sciences, Pahoa (google hui malama at haas to view a map, or email randi.brennon@gmail.com)

When: Friday, June 3, 6-8 pm

Want to know more about Science Cafes?  Go to sciencecafes.org.  You’ll find lots of information about cafes around the nation (including this one!).


Letters — Last Call: Tell Council Members To Vote No On Any Decrease To Public Lands Fund

Please email the council members ask them to VOTE NO on Bill 29, Draft 3 on ANY DECREASE to the LAND FUND:

Cut and paste:

“Pilago Angel”<apilago@co.hawaii.hi.us>,  Brenda Ford <bford@co.hawaii.hi.us>, fblas@co.hawaii.hi.us,
pete hoffmann <phoffmann@co.hawaii.hi.us>, bsmart@co.hawaii.hi.us, Dominic Yagong <dyagong@co.hawaii.hi.us>

or testify on June 1 at the council meeting in Hilo or by teleconference from Waimea or the West Hawaii Civic Center.

4 things to keep in mind:

  1. 57% of us voted to set aside 1% of our property taxes last November. This is a charter amendment and can only be changed by a vote of the people. The council and Mayor MUST put at LEAST 1% of our tax revenue in the fund
  2. Six council members signed pledges to reinstate the 2% deposits to the land fund.  Why are six votes important? They can override the Mayor’s veto.  If ALL of the council members who signed our pledges honored their commitment, the land fund could be fully funded.                                                                   To see the pledges please go to:  www.dhecht.com
  3. Although the land fund would be funded at $3,146,000.00, this is approximately $1 million less than the 2% amount.
  4. Why is this important? it allows the county to obtain an additional $1 million in matching funds and the county is in negotiations for Kaiholena (Kohala), Kawa Bay (Kau), the Kingston Trust land in Kona, Pohoiki Bay has been approved for acquisition by the council.  These  purchase cannot happen without funding.

I got an answer from Jamae Kawauchi, the County Clerk explaining how the legislation will work:

The real property tax revenue estimate for 2011-2012 is $207,300,000.00.

The mayor’s draft 2 budget appropriated $4,146,000.00 to the open space fund. I understand that this figure represents 2% of the real property tax revenue for 2011-2012.

Mr. Ikeda introduced an amendment to the draft 2 budget to reduce the draft 2 budget appropriation to 1% of the real property tax revenue for 2011-2012, the actual dollar figure is $2,073,000.00.

Chair amended Mr. Ikeda’s amendment increasing Mr. Ikeda’s figure by $1M.  In short, draft 3 of the budget appropriation represents more than 1% of the real property tax revenue for 2011-2012, the actual dollar figure to be deposited is $3,146,000.00. This is subject to veto by the mayor, with a possible override by the council.

Please call with questions.

Debbie Hecht

Kailua Kona, HI

(808) 989-3222

Hilo News — Keolaokalani W. Kailianu Facing Negligent Homicide And DUI Charges In Ted Braxton’s Moped Death

Keolaokalani W. Kailianu, 41, has reportedly been arrested for suspicion of negligent homicide, DUI, driving without insurance, and causing an accident involving death and serious injury, after the van he was allegedly driving struck and killed Ted Braxton.
Police say Kailianu was driving a Ford van shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday on Kinoole Street, where he turned left onto Hualalai Street, while failing to yield to oncoming traffic.
Kailianu allegedly struck the moped driven by Braxton, a 22-year-old UH Hilo student, performing artist and writer, and fled the scene with the moped wedged under the van. Kailianu was reportedly apprehended at a Banyan Drive apartment building. Those with leads in the case should call police at (808) 935-3311 or Officer Paul Kim at (808) 961-2332.

Puna News — See John Cruz And Have Dinner June 18

(Media release) — Celebrate Father’s Day with dinner and a John Cruz show at Pahoa’s Akebono Theater. Salvador LuQuin will prepare the dinner that will precede Cruz’s performance. Doors are open at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m. and showtime at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance at LuQuin’s Mexican Restaurant — $40 with dinner and $20 for the show only.
(Submitted by Felicia Cordova-Orian.)

Letters — Honor Vets Tonight At Uncle Robert’s In Kalapana

MJ Svoboda (R) with Dan Nix, Big Island's "Elvis"

Really need your help tonight!!!  Probably have a large audience including military.  Need you my USO dancers, and performers,  a memorial salute to our  America’s Fallen Heroes, Lest we forget.  Hope everyone can be there (at Uncle Robert’s house in Kalapana) by 7:00 PM.  Don will open the show,  Dan Nix(Elvis) following. We will then do our USO presentation, 3 military songs, THEN 8 SONGS Cd’S Yakety Yak, All I have to Do is Dream, Singing the Blues(Tenji), I want to walk you home(Trina), Blue Heaven, When the Saints go Marching In, Sweet Little 16, and Goodbye Sweetheart.

Dan and Don really need us to dance to their music and singing. We will have Vets that will come up and tell us about their military experience.  I need you to help me pass out American flags during our military march songs.  Bring a friend, as we need more help.  Bring a pupu or drinks.  Thank you in advance for your support. Love & God Bless you all.
(MJ Svoboda)

Hawaii News — Comment On Highway 130 Final Environmental Assessment Till June 21

The Final Environmental Assessment (FEA) for the major changes in Keaau-Pahoa Road (State Route 130) was released on May 23, 2011.


The project website: http://www.keaau-pahoa.com/index.htm.

The FEA: http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov — follow links to online library, then counties, then years and dates. The FEA for Keaau-Pahoa Road (dated 2011-05-23) is a big pdf and there are fifteen appendices as separate pdf’s.


Public comments on the FEA will be received until June 21, 2011.


Comments may be sent to:


State of Hawaii Department of Transportation

Planning Branch

869 Punchbowl Street, Room 301
Honolulu, HI  96813

ATTN: Lance Manabe

or email Lance.h.manabe@hawaii.gov

Letters — Drunk Driver Kills Again

Ted Braxton


Ted Braxton, our good friend, died last night in Hilo after being hit by a drunk driver. He was 22 years old. Ted came to Bellyacres as an 18 year old intern and has been a wonderful energy in our lives ever since. He was studying music at the University and dreamed of returning to SPACE to start his own choir. Ted will be greatly missed by all of us, we loved him. I’ll share more later.

How can we help to stop this madness?
Ted is a huge loss.
We are grieving here, and so is his mother and family on the mainland.

Graham (Ellis)

Ted as a child. Photos courtesy of Mark Hinshaw

(Editor’s note: Following is a statement from Ted’s mother Sarah Braxton.)

To all of Ted’s friends and family – we received the news of Ted’s death this afternoon. His brother Sam is coming home tomorrow and we plan to go to Hilo this week to honor Ted’s life in a memorial service. Don, Grace, Sam and I thank you for your kind thoughts. We know that you meant everything to Ted! We hope to meet many of you when we are in Hawaii. There will be a celebration of Ted’s life in Huntingdon, PA later in June. We will post the specifics here as soon as we know them. Much love, Sarah

Letters — About Posting Mug Shots Of Those Arrested

Hi Mrs. Hunt,

I’ve enjoyed your blog for many years, and thank you for all the work you put into it.

I’m in Massachusetts but have friends and family on the big island.

I was a little surprised to see police booking photos on BIC recently.

A long time ago, on BIC, I read a statement by you, that really made an impression on me.

As I recall, you said that you were not going to post arrest information, because if you did, you would feel compelled as a journalist to follow the story and report whether the people were in fact found guilty or innocent, and what the final disposition of the cases was.

That really made me think about this type of online arrest reports, when I saw them appearing online in my local mainland community… and read the gossipy comments people would post so quickly and anonymously…. and I found I agreed with you, and began to see the local police arrest photos appearing online in my hometown as a real sad thing… and I was happy not to see that happening on the big island.

We are supposed to presume people are innocent until proven guilty, but posting arrest photos makes people look automatically guilty.

And worse, no matter what the disposition of the case, that initial online photo and report could exist online for a lifetime.  I imagine that on an island, that online shadow could be even more difficult to shake, for a person who is later found innocent, if their innocence is not publicized as widely as their arrest.

In general, I respect the police and the difficult work they do.

In my home state, however, I’ve actually found myself the victim of small town police corruption and brutality… where the local cops let the criminals go free, in fact aided them, and instead pressed charges against my critically ill friend… I got involved to speak up for my friend’s rights when he was too sick to do so for himself…. months and months later after the case wended its way through the court system, and we finally got in front of a judge with an attorney, the charges were immediately dropped. When I then questioned the local police about returning my friend’s possessions that had been literally stolen with police protection, I was taken around the side of the police building and physically threatened by two officers.  Later, the chief of police called me and told me if I didn’t drop it, he would “make my life a living hell.”  Our attorney told me to “let it go” because this was just all too common in small town police departments.

That was a real wake-up call for me, regarding the spectrum of police behavior, and not to believe everything I read.

(Luckily for my friend, this was long before the days of online arrest reports. When the charges were dismissed, it really went away and did not continue to follow him around).

So it really makes me sad to think that someone’s life could be forever shadowed by an arrest and preliminary police statement posted online, that may live on in cyberspace indefinitely, no matter whether that police report was later found to be factual or not, or with any mention of the eventual disposition of the case.  A lot of times the situation is more complicated than it first appears, and that is best determined in a court of law instead of the court of public opinion.

I think it would be a much more enlightened approach for the big island, to say that personally identifying arrest and booking information will not be released or posted online until the case is resolved… yes, then, if someone is convicted, by all means, post the information of the conviction and sentence as a deterrant to future criminals, and for the community’s knowledge.

Up until actual conviction, however, if the police simply want the community to know what they are doing, and that they are making arrests, they could certainly release information such as ” a 30 year old male was arrested doing such and such, and taken into custody” but in my opinion, the person’s name and photo should be withheld until they are actually found guilty in a court of law.

That would seem like a much fairer system for the big island police and government to adopt.

Just my 2 cents…

Thanks again for all the great work you do with BIC.


(Name withheld)

Love and the Big Island- A Hui Hou….

by RJ Kaleohano Mendoza

Everything that has a beginning, has an end.

It’s a bittersweet time right now to say that my time on the Big Island has come to an end. My love and affinity for this island among all others will always be strong. But the time has come for me to move on and into a new direction.

I will be moving back to the state of my birth- New York, and back to Brooklyn where I will be hopefully working with some other forms of electronic and print media- I’ve applied and queried a number of newspapers, electronic news sites for freelance and internship opportunities in the New York City area. I will also be starting a new media venture aiming to focus on topics of interest to the Filipino-American community in the New York City area. I’ll keep Tiffany in the loop in case anyone is interested in where I will be x amount of months from now.

But before I go- I want to say a few things. My life on the Big Island was a number of things- but overall the best experience of my life. I always wanted to live on this island, and I’m glad that I had to opportunity to do so. There is no comparison of the Big Island to New York City, because apples and oranges are two totally different things. And to compare the two places- it would be cruel. They are too wonderful, too melancholy, too different.

I want to say a deep, heartfelt, joyful M A H A L O N U I L O A to the people of island. First to all the members of my in-law-turned-hanai ‘ohana. Let me say for the record, that I have dated other guys before, and none of their families treated me the way these beautiful folks have. I wasn’t the “demon” who “turned their dear (name withheld) gay” I was RJ, their latest addition to the family. Three generations of my ex-partner’s family have treated me with dignity, respect, A L O H A, and with a generous spirit that nobody can compare to. If I do meet another partner, I will be twice blessed to have a family like my ex’s.

Letters — Opposed To The Hawaii County Council’s Tip Line

Dear Editor,
Chairman Yagong has established in his office an exclusive direct phone line for complaints, suggestions and whistle-blowing.  Bravo!  More of the dog chasing its own tail!  
Here’s a government spending tip: let’s eliminate all the dozens of (mostly volunteer) public commissions that currently review such issues, since the Council Chair and County Clerk’s office are willing to take it all in their closed door “executive sessions”.  
I don’t think Mr. Yagong understands the County Charter: he’s in the Legislative branch, the Mayor heads up the Executive branch.   The Office of the County Clerk already has its own pet auditor department, and now they have established the very special Chairman’s tips and complaint hotline?  Sadly begging for phone calls?  I suggest you call your own representative and let them know what you think.  They have plenty of other telephone lines open, waiting for your input. 
Bradley Westervelt