Hawaii News — Pu‘uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park Celebrates 50 Years This Weekend

(Media release) — Pu‘uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park is celebrating its 50 anniversary as a unit of the National Park Service with a cultural festival and series of events from Friday, June 24 to Sunday, June 26, 2011.

The Cultural Festival, which extends from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day,  takes visitors back to old Hawai‘i in the 1800s. Practitioners in traditional dress will provide visitors with a unique Hawaiian experience, honoring the culture and traditions of the Hawaiian people and cultural experts, and providing local residents and the community a time and place to gather, learn and share.

Other attractions include a ho‘okupu (offering) opening and closing ceremony, hula performances, canoe rides, food tasting, weaving, hukilau (traditional fishing), musical implements, lei making, medicinal plants, archaeological hikes and much more.

(Submitted by Huy Vo.)

Hawaii News — HPAF Season Opens With ‘Exotic Melodies’ Concert Saturday

Image courtesy of Genette Freeman

(Media release) — “Exotic Melodies,” Hawaii Performing Arts Festival’s 2011 season opener will take place at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 25, 2011, at Davies Chapel on the campus of Hawai’i Preparatory Academy in Waimea.  The concert will feature guest artists from the festival’s renowned faculty performing classical music from around the world and is free to the public.  Audience members are urged to bring a nonperishable food item for food banks in Waimea.  A Meet the Artists reception will follow the performance.

“Opening Night Concert – Exotic Melodies” kicks off a spectacular season, featuring two complete theatrically staged operas, musical theater evenings, concerts of German art song, and Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” presented by HPAF’s string program.

Hawaii’s own Ignace “Iggy” Jang, best known as the concertmaster of the Honolulu Symphony and Laurence Paxton, chair of the music department at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, will perform, along with Brad Ellis, “Brad, the Pianist” from the hit TV show Glee.   The evening will begin with Juliana Gondek and Jennifer McGregor performing the Flower Song from ‘Lakme’. “It’s beautiful and exotic and tropical, a perfect opener to our season!” exclaims Val Underwood, Artistic Director.

The concert is dedicated to the memory of Marium Macion, head of security at HPA, who passed away last August.  “From the very beginning of our festival back in 2005 Marium helped us in so many ways.  A calm and steadying influence, he always had our back.  We miss him a lot,” states Genette Freeman, Executive Director.

Now entering its seventh season, HPAF brings students to the Big Island from around the world, to study and perform together with a stellar international faculty.  The result is 20 concerts in 20 days, many of them free to the public.  Based atHawaii Preparatory Academy in Waimea, the world class festival awards scholarships to young artists from Hawaii and contributes hundreds of thousands of tourist dollars to Hawaii Island’s economy.   For more information, visitwww.hawaiiperformingartsfestival.org.

Pianos at the 2011 festival are provided by Piano Planet, Hawaii’s official Steinway dealer.  Grand, upright and digital pianos are played during the festival, then sold at special festival pricing.  For more information, contactGenette.freeman@msn.com or call (808) 333-7378.

(Submitted by Genette Freeman.)

Volcano News — Expect ‘Hot Sultry Jazz’ With Pauline Wilson On July 2

(Media release)  — The Summer of Jazz continues at Volcano Art Center at Niaulani Campus on July 2 when the incomparable Pauline Wilson joins Junior Choy and the Volcano Art Center Jazz ensemble for an incredible evening of “hot sultry jazz.” Tickets for this concert are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

“The series opener with Ray Brown Jr. was sold out and with standing room only and I expect the same with Pauline Wilson,” saidConcerts Coordinator David Wallerstein. “It was a night filled with incredible music and I suggest getting your tickets early, for this night with Pauline Wilson promises to be filled with life long Jazz memories. We are so happy to bring Pauline home to the Big Island to perform again.”

Pauline Wilson is an American jazz/pop singer best known as lead vocalist with the jazz/fusion group Seawind in the 1970’s and early 80’s. Born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, she won a Grammy Award in 1979 for her duet “Friends” with George Benson, part of the album In Harmony/A Sesame Street Record and voiced The Fairy on the track “My Fairy In The Crystal Reeds (And Other Frogs)” from Michel Colombier’s album Old Fool Back On Earth. During most of Seawind’s main period of activity, Pauline was married to Bob Wilson, the drummer/main songwriter of the group. Read more

Letters — A Compliment

Aloha Tiffany

Hope all is well in Puna. I return to the Big Island tonight….

www.civilbeat.com published the first part of the speach I gave on Saturday…towards the end I put in a plug for you (and HND). I appreciate your help and support, and congratulte you on creating an excellent site. Of course, I wish you continued success, growth as you shed light on important issues to the people in the community and island wide.

Matt Rifkin

Environment — Stolen And Abandoned Blue Honda

Photo by Tiffany Edwards Hunt. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

I have this categorized as “Environment,” but I should actually have a crime category for stories like this: I learned today that this blue Honda left on Hawaiian Acres’ G Road, between Roads 8 and 7, was stolen.  After I called in the abandoned vehicle, I received a call back from a police officer informing of that fact and asking me for more information on when I first saw it there.  Apparently, this is the third stolen vehicle in two days — the other two were found in Nanwale — and police are trying to hunt down what they believe to be a “chop shop.” If you have any information that will lead police in the direction of the car thieves and illegal chop shop owners, I suggest you call (808) 935-3311.  Ask for Officer Pacheco.

Actually, whenever you see an abandoned vehicle, I urge you to call the phone number above.  The vehicle could be stolen and you might be aiding an investigation by calling.  At the very least, your phone call will mean the generation of a police report and the activation of the abandoned vehicle coordinator.  You don’t want abandoned vehicles to sit around too long.  Trash generates trash.

***Commentary*** Talking Story With Dominic Yagong, Regarding The Need For Special Legal Counsel

Dominic Yagong

I talked with Council Chairman Dominic Yagong on the phone this afternoon, following a press conference he called that I was not able  to attend.

Yagong detailed what council members are expected to discuss at Friday’s special meeting, including legislation to address the lack of consistency with the Hawaii County Code and the Hawaii County Charter regarding to the Public Access Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Fund along with the need for council members to obtain special legal counsel regarding the budget.

As you know, the mayor has vetoed the Council’s version of the budget, Bill 29, Draft 4.  To support his veto, the mayor released an opinion from Corporation Counsel, which suggests at least one of council members’ amendments to the budget was illegal.

Corporation Counsel specifically takes issue with the fact that council members amended Bill 29 to create a “Council Adjusted Expense Account” and “inserted a ‘negative appropriation’ of $5.8 million.” Also, Corporation Counsel maintains that council members reducing the annual Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Conservation Fund contribution by $1 million without accompanying legislation “renders the reduction invalid.”

Yagong emphasized that, on June 30, council members will have an important decision to make, whether or not to override the mayor’s veto.  they are in need of some legal advice and they feel like Corporation Counsel, having already rendered an opinion on the side of the mayor, is not in the position to give it.

“The Council is naked,” Yagong said. “We do not have representation.  We can’t go to Corporation Counsel.”

Our situation in Hawaii County is unique, being that we have a Corporation Counsel that serves both the administration and the County Council.  It is what our County Charter dictates, and it would take a Charter amendment to change that.

When everything is said and done, this conflict between Corporation Counsel and council members highlights the need for a Charter amendment, Yagong acknowledged.

As he said, “if you have a dispute with your neighbor, you don’t go out and hire the same lawyer as your neighbor.” Read more

***Commentary*** How I Met Keolaokalani Kailianu

The other day I was sitting outside a District Court chambers in the Hilo Judiciary building, waiting to testify against a shoplifter.  At the same time there was a bench trial for a woman accused of stealing a dress from my family’s shop, Keolaokalani Kailianu was being arraigned upstairs in Circuit Court for felony charges related to the moped death of Ted Braxton.  Recall that Ted was one of the students I advised last semester, working for the University of Hawaii Hilo student newspaper.  It is largely because of this that I have a keen interest in following Keolaokalani’s adjudication.  I mean, you must know that we have at least two other DUI related fatalities pending in this County that I haven’t been following as closely, sorry to say.

Note that 52-year-old Fidel Jeronimo Bautista Jr. of Pahoa, was arrested and charged with manslaughter, negligent homicide in the first degree, negligent injury in the first degree, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, no operator’s license, and no insurance for the May 19 death of 61-year-old Linda McKee, of Vancouver, Washington.  McKee was the passenger of a motorcycle traveling toward Pahoa on Highway 130, when Bautista allegedly turned left onto Ainaloa Boulevard from the highway, failing to yield the right of way and colliding with the motorcycle.  Police say alcohol was a factor in that crash.

Then there is 26-year-old Marco Delgado, of Keaau, who is facing felony charges related to the May 30 death of his younger sister Christina “Tina” Delgado on Rubbish Dump Road.  Police say Delgado was driving under the influence when he lost control, ran off the left side of the road, dropped about 50 feet down an old rock quarry, and landed upside down, pinning his 22-year-old sister inside.  She died the next day on Oahu.

The truth is, I should give equal coverage to all of these stories, knowing the message is the same, that being the sometimes fatal consequences of drinking and driving.  But the fact that I knew Ted personally and advocated journalism to him and his group of friends that worked at the college newspaper is likely the reason I am especially interested in covering every detail of Keolaokalani’s adjudication.

So, there I sat waiting to testify last Thursday afternoon, stewing about the woman who stole the dress and the fact that it happened in December 2009 and she is just now — the same day that Keolaokalani is to be arraigned in Circuit Court — scheduled for a bench trial.   Read more

***Commentary*** Another Helicopter Rant


By Tiffany Edwards Hunt. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

Time for my periodic rant about helicopters and their invasion of personal space.  Moments ago, two helicopters rode low and circled the wilderness outside our home.  “Shoo! Shoo! Go away!” I said to myself as the first one passed.  “There is nothing for you here, and you are so loud you’re going to wake my sleeping baby!”  A minute or two later, another one followed.  (Tail end of the pass-by here: IMG_3122). And that one did it.  After the loud helicopter came the loud cries of my prematurely awakened baby seeking solace.  Thanks a lot, whoever you are piloting that helicopter, presumably on the hunt for marijuana in the  forest reserve and people’s backyards.  There are people who suggest that Green Harvest is a violation of our Constitutional right.  I feel like it is that, along with being a nuisance to our ears and an invasion of our serenity.  It’s one thing when helicopters are en route to and from the lava flow, the overhead rumble is high enough and generally not as intense as when they swoop down and circle about in search of marijuana or what-have-you.  Living in this rural space is otherwise so quiet, with the birds talking to each other and the wind rustling throug the trees.  I feel like the sound of an approaching helicopter rattles my insides.  Clearly, the two that just passed had an effect on my baby! When is there going to be enough political will to give it up already?!

Missing People — Help Find Naomi Sanders

Naomi Sanders

(Media release) — Big Island police are renewing their request for the public’s help in locating a 42-year-old North Kona woman who was reported missing.

Naomi Sanders left her Kainaliu home the night of June 6.

Honolulu Police received an unconfirmed Crime Stoppers tip about a possible sighting on Oahu on or about June 15 in the Nimitz area in the vicinity of the Honolulu airport. She was wearing black shorts and a blue T-shirt.

Sanders is described as Caucasian, about 5-foot-3 and 120 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes. She has a tribal print tattoo on her upper right arm in the shape of an arm band.

Police ask that anyone with information on her whereabouts call Detective Sean Smith at (808) 326-4646, extension 262, or 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.

(Submitted by Hawaii Police Department via Nixle.)

Volcano News — You’re Invited To The 4th Of July Parade

Image courtesy of David Wallerstein.

(Media release) — The community of Volcano and the Volcano Community Association will present their annual 4th of July Parade in Volcano, Hawaii at 9 a.m., Monday, July 4, 2011. The Independence Day parade has become a tradition in Volcano and is a great time for family and friends to come to a beautiful community and celebrate the independence of our great nation. The Independence Day parade will begin at the Volcano Post Office and proceed for one half mile along Old Volcano Road to Cooper Community Center. “

The parade has truly become a tradition in Volcano and it just grows and gets bigger every year,” said Volcano Community Association Board Member David Wallerstein. “A lot of people work really hard in the community to make this event truly special and one that we are very proud of. There is no better place to enjoy fun, food, friends, family and the birth our great nation on July 4th then in Volcano and I guarantee a day of nothing but smiles, great food, and red, white, and blue!”

Parking this 4th of July will be allowed at Volcano Art Center and at Cooper Center, but note that the roads will closed at 7 a.m. in Volcano Village along the parade route. There will also be of street parking available that is within walking distance of the parade route. The parade will feature the Hawaii County Band, Volcano Art Center, Volcano School of Arts and Science, Volcano Rotary, floats, antique cars, fire engines, bicycles, horses, animals in costumes, music, dance, art, and anyone else that would like to participate in this awesome celebration! Music, games, food booths, craft fair, and prizes to follow.

For more information please visit  www.volcanocommunityassociation.org or www.coopercenter.org or call (808) 967-7800 with any questions about the event.

(Submitted by David Wallerstein.)

***Commentary*** Council Members Seek Special Legal Counsel Regarding Budget

See for yourself here, Hawaii County Council Members are seeking special counsel regarding Bill 29, Draft 4, suggesting basically that Corporation Counsel cannot serve two masters.

Resolution 88-11, calling for the special counsel, was introduced by Council Chairman Dominic Yagong and is apparently going to be heard at a special meeting on Friday.

As I told you, having reported on Hawaii County government for the last decade, I have never before witnessed such dramatic political theater between the administration and the County Council. I can’t imagine how this is productive, honestly.  I also don’t see how it will get smoothed over, especially when we have Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann writing guest columns entitled, “Cooperation Sayanora.” I just have to wonder, which council members are going to come out and challenge Billy Kenoi for the mayoral seat.  Will it be Pete or Dominic or both?

Hawaii News — Keolaokalani Kailianu Indicted; Facing Manslaughter And Three Other Felony Charges

Keolaokalani Kailianu has been indicted for manslaughter and three other charges for the May 28 collision that killed 22-year-old University of Hawaii Hilo student Ted Braxton.  Initially, Kailianu had been charged with negligent homicide in the first degree, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, and accident involving death or serious injury.  He was arrested and posted $10,500 bail.  But on June 8 a jury indicted him for manslaughter, negligent homicide, DUI and leaving the scene of an accident involving death or serious injury.  Has re-arrested and posted bail for  $20,000.

In Circuit Court on Thursday, Kailianu pleaded not guilty to the four charges.  A trial date was set for Oct. 3, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. Deputy Prosecutor Ricky Damerville reportedly revealed during those proceedings that the collision of the van driven by Kailianu and the moped driven by Braxton was caught on surveillance video from K’s Drive In and Kadota’s Liquor.  Damerville said what would typically be a two-week trial could be much shorter due to that captured footage.

Police say shortly before 10 p.m. on May 28 Kailianu, traveling in a 2007 Ford van, failed to yield the right-of-way as he turned left onto Hualalai Street from Kinoole Street, striking Braxton on the moped traveling north on Kinoole Street.  Braxton was dislodged from the van at the corner of Mauna Kea and Hualalai Streets, directly across from K’s Drive In and Kadota Liquor.  The moped was still in the undercarriage of the van when police found it and Kailianu on Banyan Drive.

Braxton, who hailed from Huntingdon, Penn., was a UH Hilo performing arts major who also wrote for the school newspaper, Ke Kalahea.  Friends and family are hoping state lawmakers will introduce “Ted’s Law,” which would permanently ban those convicted of drunk driving related negligent homicide from holding driver’s licenses.

The manslaughter charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.