Guest Column — An Impact Fee Eulogy

By Pete Hoffmann
On 21 September, in a surprising reversal of its Planning Committee recommendation two weeks previous, the County Council voted five to four to defeat the long-anticipated Impact Fee legislation.  
 
Despite the obvious need (expressed by almost everyone even remotely involved on this issue) to revamp the current ineffective ‘fair-share’ system, despite the benefit of continuous support (free of charge by the way) from the experts originally contracted by the County to study an Impact Fee, despite a further three page listing of suggested recommendations from the County’s Planning Director received only on 19 September, despite growing public approval for an Impact Fee proposal, and despite repeated explanations countering the numerous misunderstandings of some opponents, the Council terminated Bill 304 at First Reading.
 
Disappointment is the prevailing sentiment that characterizes this vote.  I’m disappointed that as a Council we are unable to address adequately the difficult issues that have plagued us repeatedly over the years.  I’m not necessarily convinced that my proposal is the best, but I do know that impact fees work, they have been adopted by literally thousands of communities that faced the same infrastructure shortfalls as Hawaii County does now, and development has not stopped in any of those communities.  If Council members don’t like my idea, then what other alternatives do they suggest?  State law has allowed us to adopt impact fees for the past 18 years.  How long must residents wait?  If not now, when will we be courageous enough to create an effective system to address these shortfalls??
 
Another irony of the situation is that the Council on many occasions has called for administration recommendations regarding impact fees, urging a partnership to resolve this issue.  I recognize that the detailed listing of recommendations received on two occasions recently from the Planning Department did not necessarily represent administration approval of this impact fee proposal, but it would seem to reflect a willingness to work with Council and to discuss a controversial topic.  I would have anticipated that the Council would be willing to advance that discussion rather than cut it short.
 
Impact Fees, if adopted, would not suddenly make the County healthy.  It would, however, permit the County to employ a funding mechanism which has proven successful in communities nationwide.  Failure to pass this legislation either dooms County residents to continued shortfalls in essential facilities or insures that higher taxes will be the only remedy available to correct those deficiencies.  Those taxes affect all residents; rich, poor, and everyone in-between, not just those that cause the increased impact. Simply put, the defeat of the Impact Fee legislation translates into higher taxes for all or inadequate infrastructure. Disappointing to say the least.  Our residents deserve better.  
 
A final comment:  In the aftermath of this vote, I fear the perception will linger that the Council remains more concerned about potential election results than resolving key issues.  Ask yourselves:  when will the Council take the lead and make the tough decisions?? I believe we missed a great opportunity on 21 September.          
(Pete Hoffmann is a Hawaii County council member representing Kohala.)

Waimea News — Paniolo Visit Parker School

Photo courtesy

(Media release) — Parker School kindergarten and first grade classes enjoyed a visit from Parker Ranch cowboys and a horse named Chicken last week.

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, Cowboy Keoki Woods and Parker Ranch land manager Brandi Beaudet taught the students about being a cowboy, herding cattle and caring for a horse. On the lower school field, Woods and Chicken demonstrated for the young students some of the tricks and maneuvers cowboys’ horses can do.

“Keoki has visited Parker Lower School for the last seven years, Kindergarten teacher Jackie “Kumu Jackie” Sills said.  “It is a great way for the school and ranch to stay connected. We are thankful for their willingness to share.”

This month the kindergarteners are learning about animals and first graders are studying the Wild West, so this visit was an especially meaningful treat.

“As always, we too enjoy meeting with the children and sharing a bit of what we are about and what we do, said Beaudet, who delighted the students by giving them balloons, stickers and pencils.
“We look forward to the next opportunity to visit.”

For more information please visit the Parker School website at www.parkerschool.net.
(Submitted by Kate Callender.)

Hilo News — Schedule and Presenters’ Bios For UHH Media Symposium Saturday

Less than a week away, the University of Hawaii Hilo Media Symposium is meant to serve as a training for high school and college students involved in or interested in new media, at the same time it will be a gathering of statewide journalists and bloggers with Sunshine Law champion senator Les Ihara and Office of Information Practices Director Cheryl Kakazu Park.

Symposium attendees will explore journalism fundamentals, receive refreshers on the Sunshine Law, libel and citizens rights and responsibilities, at the same time that they discuss how new media has changed the professions of newspapering, radio, and television and explore press credentials in the age of new media.  State legislators’ exemption of themselves from the Sunshine Law and social media for members of County Councils and other community boards and commissions will also be discussed.  Intro to blogging, an AP Style Quiz, an iPad workshop, a review of the Hawaii Police Department’s General Orders on media credentials, and a press conference on legislative and other issues pertaining to the Sunshine Law can be expected.

Following are bios for the presenters and moderators for the symposium that is slated to commence at 9 a.m. at UH Hilo Campus Center Room 301.  The schedule follows the bios.

Sponsors include UH Hilo’s Ke Kalahea, a student produced newspaper; UHH Student Activities Council; University Radio Hilo; UHH Board of Media Broadcasting; Lava Shoot; UHH Board of Student Publications; UHH Bookstore; Vulcan Athletics; KTA Super Stores; Island Naturals; Hilo Coffee Mill; Kapoho Kine Adventures and Zipline Through Paradise; Seaside Hotels; Castle Resorts for Hilo Hawaiian Hotel; and County of Hawaii.


Ian Lind (www.iLind.net) has been blogging daily since late 1999, before the word “blog” was in general use, and is generally regarded as one of the state’s most influential bloggers.
Lind was an award-winning investigative reporter for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin from 1993-2001, and previously published “Hawaii Monitor”, a monthly newsletter covering Hawaii politics.
He is a past chairman of the Honolulu Community-Media Council (now known as Media Council Hawaii), and was selected by the Democratic National Committee to represent Hawaii in the “Blogger Corps” covering the 2008 National Democratic Convention.
John Temple is editor and general manager of Civil Beat, named Hawaii’s best overall news site in the Hawaii chapter of the Society of Professional Journalist’s 2010 Excellence in Journalism contest. Temple was the editor of the Rocky Mountain News for 11 years before it closed in February of 2009. Under his direction, the paper won four Pulitzer Prizes and many other national journalism awards. Temple also served the E.W. Scripps Co., owner of the Rocky, as vice president/news of the newspaper division. Temple is a native of Vancouver, B.C., and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where he has been inducted into the Hall of Achievement.
Andy Parx has covered Kaua`i government and politics for over 30 years. During the 90’s he produced “The Parxist Conspiracy” TV newsmagazine and currently writes Parx New Daily’s on-line news, commentary and analysis blog, “got windmills?”.
Steve Petranik has been an editor and reporter for more than three decades, and now is the editor of Hawaii Business magazine. He has reported from six countries on three continents and his stories have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. He spent 18 years as an editor at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and five years at the Honolulu Advertiser before joining Hawaii Business in January 2009.
Note: Steve’s last name is pronounced Pe-TRAN-ick.
Nancy Cook Lauer has worked for newspapers in four major U.S. media companies: Scripps Howard, Knight Ridder, Gannett and Stephens Media. Venues have included West Hawaii Today, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, the Tallahassee Democrat, the Naples Daily News, the Bonita Banner and the Naples Star. Lauer is currently vice president and Neighbor Island representative for the Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists-Hawaii. She has won numerous awards, including a state first-place for government reporting from SPJ, a national first-place award from CapitolBeat and national news writing awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and Scripps Howard, state awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and Florida Press Club. She was recognized as the 2008 print reporter of the year by the Hawaii Medical Association and won a special humanitarian award from disabled workers in 2002. Her blog, All Hawaii News, won first place in the SPJ-Hawaii solo news blog category this year. She holds a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in psychology from Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, Va., and a master’s degree in library and information sciences from Florida State University. In addition to her work as a journalist, Lauer is an active volunteer, having worked in mental health institutes and drug clinics in Virginia, as a state-certified guardian ad litem in Florida, and as a trained zoo docent in Hawaii. Her favorite question is “why,” followed closely by “who.”

Hugh Clark spent 46 years working in jobs from a California weekly to editorships in Texas and Nevada and working in five states after receiving his degree in 1964 from Humboldt State University in California. He was Big Island bureau chief for the Honolulu Advertiser from 1971-2002.He helped found the Big Island Press Club, served as its president and was a named plaintiff in several successful suits on behalf on openness. He was born in Santa Rosa, Calif., and raised in a family grocery store where he worked from a bottle sorter to cashier and stock clerk. He served as a lecturer at UH-Hilo twice and volunteered as unpaid student newspaper adviser.Hugh is married to Anne Uma Clark, formerly of Lautoka, Fiji. Their daughter, Sandhya,  attends University of Washington in Seattle where she majors in neurobiology.
Brenda Salgado is a University of Hawaii Manoa grad (’88) who has been at KGMB in Honolulu since 1985 as an associate producer, weekend  assignment editor/producer, hired fulltime in ’88 after graduation as assignment editor. In addition to managing daily news gathering,  she works on special projects and various investigative projects. She is married with two girls, ages 12 and 14. Between work and family, she balances sports, Olympic weightlifting, running, hiking and hula.


Loren Mitchell took his first reporting job during the summer after sophomore year at Emory & Henry College where he studied journalism and in 1983 graduated with a degree in Mass Communications/English. He was hired as a reporter with the Tazewell County (Va.) Free Press where he had worked that one summer and over the next 15 years would rise to the position of editor and eventually owner and publisher.During that time Mitchell returned to school, obtaining a master’s in journalism & public affairs from The American University in Washington, D.C., in 1993.Mitchell left the newspaper and launched a freelance career in 1998, traveling extensively and writing online and for print publications in various locations from Boston and Reno to Florida and the West Indies.To supplement the freelance work, Mitchell began teaching writing in south Florida in 2000 and later taught online at University of Phoenix and Kaplan University before coming to Hawaii with his wife, Dena. He has been teaching writing at Hawaii Community College since 2005.
Steven Strauss is originally from San Diego, and practiced intellectual property law in California before relocating to East Hawaii in 1989 and starting his own law practice.   Currently, Steve focuses on civil and criminal trial work, business development, environmental law and intellectual property.He has presented seminars and workshops in copyright, image protection, trade infringement and civil rights and represented clients in defamation actions in state and federal courts. Steve obtained his law degree in 1986 from the University of San Diego, and his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego with majors in chemistry and literature. He lives in Hakalau with his daughter Natalie and enjoys surfing and fishing.
State Sen. Les Ihara, Jr. (D-Kaimuki/Palolo) is a 25-year veteran of the Hawaii Legislature, and the senate’s Majority Policy Leader since 2006. Considered the leading good government advocate in the Legislature, Les has sponsored legislation to increase government transparency, coordinated a successful lawsuit to prohibit serial communications, and organized freedom of information audits as Government Watch chair of the Honolulu Community-Media Council. During his seventeen years in the Senate and eight in the House, Sen. Ihara served as Senate majority leader, House and Senate majority floor leader, Joint Legislative Access Committee co-chair, and co-chair and Joint Legislative Committee on Aging in Place. He was also a delegate to the 1978 Constitutional Convention and has served three terms as Oahu Democratic Party chair. Sen. Ihara’s Legislative interests include ethics, campaign finance reform, lobbyist regulation, civil rights, consumer protection, environmental protection, and senior citizen issues. He graduated from Mid Pacific Institute and the University of Hawaii, and lives with his wife in Palolo Valley.
Cheryl Kakazu Park, J.D., M.B.A., was appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie in April 2011 to serve as the director of the Office of Information Practices.  A 1981 graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law, Cheryl obtained her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Hawai’i Manoa in 1982.  After serving as a clerk for Chief Judge James S. Burns of the Hawai’i Intermediate Court of Appeal, Cheryl entered private practice in 1983 and became a partner at the Honolulu law firm of Watanabe, Ing, & Kawashima, where she developed the firm’s government relations section.  She left the firm in 1992 to live in Europe and subsequently moved to Reno, Nev. in 1995. From 2003 until 2011, Cheryl was a staff attorney at the Nevada Supreme Court, and is licensed to practice law in both Nevada and Hawai’i. After nearly 19 years of living and travelling abroad and on the mainland, Cheryl returned in 2011 to Hawai’i, where she was born and raised.
In addition to her legal experience, Cheryl worked in the business world with American Express Financial Advisors and Wells Fargo Insurance in Nevada.  Cheryl’s volunteer activities include being a past president of Soroptimist International of Reno, a founder of the Reno Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering, and an active participant in the Beta Beta Gamma Foundation’s annual fundraiser in Hawaii for various charitable causes.​
Jennifer Brooks has been a staff attorney at the Office of Information Practices since 2000.  During her time there, Jennifer has given numerous presentations on the Uniform Information Practices Act  and the Sunshine Law and has participated in the Freedom of Information Week ActionLine program.  Jennifer has also taken part in the state’s informal HIPAA task force and the Revitalization Task Force of the Hawaii State Bar Association Government Lawyers Section.

Prior to joining OIP, Ms. Brooks spent two sessions as a staff attorney for the Hawaii Senate Judiciary Committee, and before that she spent five years in private practice with the law firm of Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert.

Jennifer earned her law degree from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary.  She also received a bachelor’s degree in English from Harvard University and a master’s degree in Anglo-Irish Literature from Trinity College, University of Dublin.

Dr. Rick Castberg is a professor emeritus of political science at University of Hawaii-Hilo, with an extensive background in academia at UHH; California State ​​ ​University, Los Angeles; Northwestern ​University; Roosevelt University; and as a Fulbright specialist lecturer at Nagoya and Nanzan Universities in Japan.  At UHH alone, Rick has served as the chair of the Department of Political Science, the Department of Education, the Department of Sociology & Political Science, the History Department, and Japanese Studies. He has also served as the ​Director of International Programs here. His teaching subjects have included ​public law, judicial behavior, constitutional law, public policy, ​American government, and government of Japan. Among the books he has written are ​”Cases on Constitutional Law” (co-authored with Victor G. Rosenblum), “Japanese Criminal Justice,” and “Murder in Paradise” (co-authored with Chris Loos).  Among the chapters he has written are Criminal Justice in Hawaii in “Public Policy in Hawaii: A Comparative Perspective”;  Crime and Justice in “Multicultural Hawaii: The Fabric of Multiethnic Society”; and  Crime in “Atlas of Hawaii”. He has also written a chapter in “Barack Obama, The Aloha Zen President.” Rick has written articles for “Western Political Quarterly,” “Intellect”, “USA Today”, “Trends”, “Nanzan Review of American Studies”, and the “UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal”. He has written numerous papers such as “Water and the Future of Energy Development in the Southwest,” for an annual meeting of the Southwest Social Science Association, “The Search and Seizure Dilemma in the U.S.” presented to Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, and “The Politics of Newspaper Reading in English” presented to the Japan ​​Association of Current English, Nagoya, Japan. The retired U.S. Coast Guard captain is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Volcano Board of Directors and the disciplinary board of the Supreme Court of Hawaii,  the Third Circuit Court Drug Court Planning Team, and the Office of Prosecuting Attorney’s Youth Builders. He  is married and lives in Hilo.  

Baron Sekiya has been involved in journalism for over 28 years. Sekiya has worked on assignment for and been published with the The New York Times, Sygma Photo News, Contact Press Images, Sun Press newspapers, Hawaii Navy News, Hawaii Magazine, The Associated Press, PC Laptop Computers Magazine, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Chaminade University, ABC-TV, USA Today, The Seattle Times, Newsweek, American Photo Magazine, all the Oahu TV stations and many other publications. Orginally from Honolulu, Sekiya moved to Hawaii Island in 1990 and worked for West Hawaii Today and North Hawaii News from September 1990 until November 2008 where he won numerous state and national awards for photography.In November 2008 he founded the news website Hawaii 24/7 with journalist Karin Stanton focusing on the news of Hawaii Island. Sekiya serves as the publisher of Hawaii 24/7, is the visual journalist and webmaster for the website.Sekiya has worked in the Office of the Mayor, County of Hawaii, as a Multi-Media Development Specialist. In addition to working on Hawaii 24/7 he is currently the President of Na Leo ‘O Hawaii public access television and serves on the board of directors for the Big Island Press Club.


Karin Stanton is the editor of Hawaii 24/7, an independent news website founded with Baron Sekiya in 2008, and also serves as the Associated Press stringer for the Big Island. Stanton earned her journalism degree at Western Washington University and has more than 20 years reporting/editing experience at daily and weekly newspapers, as well as magazines. She has won multiple awards, most recently sweeping all three spots in the Online Feature Writing category of the 2010 SPJ Hawaii chapter Excellence in Journalism Contest.

 

Moderators

Jay Hartwell has been since 1997 the faculty advisor to student media at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa: Ka Leo O Hawai`i newspaper; Hawai`i Review literary magazine; and from 1998-2005 KTUH FM radio station. His 1996 book “Na Mamo: Hawaiian People Today” won Book of the Year honors from the Hawai`i Book Publishers Association. He was a general assignment reporter for The Honolulu Advertiser from 1980-1988 and a reporting intern for two summers before that at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. He has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University (’79) and was editor of The Colorado College Catalyst and the Kailua High Surfrider. 
Peter Serafin was the editor of Hawaii Island Journal, worked in Tokyo as a reporter for The Japan Times and Billboard magazine, and has written freelance for the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal and numerous other publications here and abroad. His Honolulu Star-Bulletin article “Punahou Grad Shakes Up Illinois Politics” (March 21, 2004) is recognized as the first mention in a major daily newspaper of Barack Obama as a potential national political figure. His feature story “BJ Penn: Outside the Octagon” (Honolulu Magazine, October, 2010) won the Society of Professional Journalists award for Best Magazine Sportswriting. He currently divides his time between the Big Island and Japan.
Stephanie Salazar is considered a ‘veteran’ radio news caster, starting with KIPA 620 radio while a UH Hilo student and writer for what was then called the ‘Vulcan News’ under editor Rolf Simonsen.  Rolf felt a college paper should be a ‘rag’ and insisted on old-fashioned newsprint.
You can hear her voice on daily news reports at www.bigislandvideonews.com (she called it radio with pictures), and occasional contributions to Hawaii Public Radio.  
Salazar’s news experience includes an internship at the Hawaii Tribune Herald, as a stringer for the Honolulu Advertiser’s Big Island Bureau (subbing for bureau chief Hugh Clark), as news director for KBIG-FM, Big Island Radio, KHBC, etc.  Her memorable news stories covered included several fixed-wing flights over the erupting Kilauea Volcano in the 1980’s, a sit-down chat with Henry Huihui  (“He asked if I was nervous, then patted my knee.”); attending Prince Phillip’s blessing of a telescope atop Mauna Kea; a brief interview with Clare Booth Luce and a telephone chat with Hawaii Astronaut Ellison Onizuka (his wife called him to the phone and he greeted me with “Astronaut Onizuka.”)Salazar’s first evidence of fascination with journalism was shown in a grade school project when she chose to create an imaginary news paper of Biblical times and titled it “The Dan Daily” (get it?)
Sherry Bracken, a Hawaii Island resident since 1994,  hosts the weekly interview show “Island Issues” that airs Sunday mornings on LAVA 105.3 fm and on KKOA 107.7 fm.  She also does the Community Corner daily event updates on both stations.  Sherry has been the Hawaii Island news reporter for Hawaii Public Radio since 2005. She has moderated dozens of candidate forums for candidates for local, state, and federal offices over the last 13 years. She donates her services to assist several community organizations. Sherry was inducted into the Hawaii Island Women’s Hall of Fame in 2008.
Kathleen Frankovic spent more than three decades at CBS News as the point person for the CBS News Poll and the CBS News polling collaboration with The New York Times. As Director of Surveys and a Producer at CBS News, she was responsible for the design, management and reporting of those polls, working with journalists and frequently appearing on television and radio as an analyst of poll results. After the 2000 election, she served as a member of the special three-person panel which recommended changes in CBS News Election Night coverage.   She then was placed in charge of the network’s Election Night decision team, and successfully projected election results for elections from 2002 to 2008.  She retired from full-time work at CBS News in 2009, but remains an Election and Polling Consultant for the company, as well as for other survey research groups.  She has served as President of both the World Association for Public Opinion and the American Association for Public Opinion, and was presented with the 2008 AAPOR Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement, the association’s highest honor.  In 1999 she received the AAPOR New York Chapter’s Outstanding Achievement Award.  She is a member of the Market Research Council, a trustee of the National Council on Public Polls, a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research and the Survey Research Institute at Cornell University. A former academic, she taught political science at the University of Vermont before joining CBS News, and combines academic training with an understanding of media needs. Read more

Hawaii News — Kiholo Bay State Park Master Plan EIS Meetings This Week

Kiholo Bay State Park Master Plan Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Meetings are planned for this week:

In Kona: 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 26, 2011, at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority (NELHA), Gateway Center, 73-4460 Queen Kaahumanu Highway. DLNR says after you enter the grounds of NELHA, take the first left and then another left turn into the Gateway Center parking lot.

In Hilo:  5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept.27, 2011, in the State Office Building conference room, 75 Aupuni St., Hilo, HI.

http://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2011/09/20/kiholo-bay-state-park-master-plan-eis-meetings-on-sept-26-27/

Puna News — Theft Of FAA Solar Panels Probed

(Media release) — Big Island police are investigating the theft of large solar panels from a Federal Aviation Administration navigation facility in Puna.

The facility is located on Highway 130 just past the 7-mile marker in the vicinity of Makuʻu Farm Lots. It is one of several in Hawaiʻi that send signals to commercial airlines flying in the Pacific Region.

Sometime between Sept. 13 and Sept. 17, unknown persons stole 12 panels and damaged two.

Between Sept. 18 and Sept. 22, the thieves used a vehicle to ram the front gate and remove 10 additional panels.

Police ask that anyone with information about these cases call Officer Matthew Bartz at (808) 965-2716 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 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.

(Submitted by Hawaii Police Department via Nixle.)

Letters — From An Impact Fee Fan, Lamenting The Defeat Of Hoffmann’s Bill

While Conservative Forum for Hawaii is advertising its gratitude to council members for voting down Pete Hoffmann's impact-fee legislation, Kona blogger Aaron Stene is lamenting its demise. Here is his letter.

I’m very disappointed the Hawaii County Council failed to pass an impact
fee ordinance yet again. The current fair share contributions system is
ineffective, not codified and unconstitutional.

Ineffective: 108.5 million was pledged by developers to mitigate
impacts, but the county only collected 8.1 million thus far.

Unconstitutional: Judge Ronald Ibarra declared the county’s fair share
system is unconstitutional in the 2007 Coupe condemnation ruling

The fair share contributions system isn’t codified into law

The absence of a impact fee ordinance forces the county to float more
bonds to pay for infrastructure improvements. This is not the ideal way
to pay for these projects. It erodes the county’s financial flexibility
and saddles the taxpayers with more debt.

Therefore, the county will be left holding the bag while developers
continue to get a free ride.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona


********************
Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
http://aaronstene.com/
Twitter @konablog
*********************

Hawaii News — 16 People Arrested In Warrant Sweep Earlier This Month

(Media release) — Sixteen individuals were arrested on HawaiÊ»i Island during a Hawaii Fugitive Task Force warrant sweep on Sept. 14.

Participating in the task force were officers and agents from the United States Marshals Office, the state Department of Public Safety’s Sheriff Division and the HawaiÊ»i Police Department.

During the sweep, the officers and agents served 33 bench warrants—23 in East Hawaii and 10 in West Hawaiʻi.

The following individuals were arrested on warrants for the following charges:

Kaumaka Apana for habitual DUI and driving with a revoked license
Jayar Bautista for violating terms of release on bail.
Quincy Kaleilaii Beck on two counts of abuse of a family member.
Kulia Beyer for promoting a dangerous drug, possessing drug paraphernalis, two counts of failure to appear in court and three counts of criminal contempt of court.
Leighton Calvo for criminal contempt of court and violating probation.
Craig Conover for violating probation.
Haniel Fujino for criminal contempt of court.
Jack Harris for criminal contempt of court.
Chantelle Kalani for violating terms of release on bail, four counts of contempt of court and three counts of discharge of sureties (failure to maintain bail or bond).
Gus Lum Won for failure to appear in court.
Ross Mackay for two counts of criminal contempt of court.
Becky Morset Fagan for criminal contempt of court and violating probation.
Timothy Nacis for criminal contempt of court.
Wilfred Ortiz for criminal contempt of court and two coutns of failure to appear.
Anthony Ramos for violating parole.
Michelle Regohos for violating probation.

HawaiÊ»i Police Chief Harry Kubojiri expressed his appreciation for the agencies that participated in the warrant sweep. “Because of the dedication of the U.S. Marshals Office and the Sheriff Division, we were able to track down 16 men and women in one day and serve them with 33 warrants,” Kubojiri said. “We thank these committed law enforcement professionals for their help.”
(Submitted by Hawaii Police Department via Nixle.)

Hilo News — Men Involved In Honolii Zipline Tragedy Identified

(Media release) — A Maui man who died and an Ohio man who was critically injured in a zip line accident Wednesday morning in Pauka’a have been identified as 35-year-old Ted Callaway and 36 year old Curtis Wright, respectively. An autopsy has been scheduled for today, Friday, Sept. 23, 2011, to determine the exact cause of Mr. Callaway’s death. Mr. Wright remains in critical condition at the Hilo Medical Center and is said to be in “very unstable” condition.

Both men were employed by a Maui company that builds and maintains zip lines. They had just made an adjustment to the line and were in the process of testing it.

The 36-year-old Maui man had traveled about halfway across the 2,300-foot span when a tower collapsed and he fell approximately 200 feet to his death.

The 35-year-old Ohio man, who was standing on the tower, fell about 30 feet. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition with multiple internal injuries.

(Submitted by Hawaii Police Department via Nixle.)

***Commentary*** Notes On The Hopes-And-Dreams DOT Meeting In Kea’au Tonight

Rep. Faye Hanohano wearing a kula gardenia at the Sen. Gilbert Kahele-hosted Town Meeting with Hawaii Department of Transportation officials tonight at Kea'au Elementary School. Photos by Tiffany Edwards Hunt. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

Sen. Gilbert Kahele (L) introduces Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Glenn Okimoto (R-standing), seated State DOT officials and Larry Brown, of the County Department of Planning office, seated to the far right.

I guess you just have to look at these meetings like town hall meetings — a chance to see and interact with fellow residents and neighbors who are as interested as you are in hearing what the State Department of Transportation and the County of Hawaii have to say about Puna roads.  Upon reflection of what I just participated in at the Pahoa Elementary School cafeteria, I’m not sure I learned anything new about what is not yet happening on Highway 130.  I hesitate to even pass on any literature I picked up, I’m so skeptical about the dates Hawaii DOT is claiming for start times of Highway 130 projects — and pretty much Hilo’s too.  Talking with Rep. Clift Tsuji I learned that the state DOT is treating Hilo projects like they are Puna’s.  It’s almost like they have gone back to the drawing board and are re-visiting with the community in public meetings.  It’s is such a gross waste of taxpayer money, I tell you.

So, based on what I learned tonight, those road work signs on Highway 130 at the intersection of Kahakai Boulevard and Highway 130 are not for any experimental roundabout, they are for $200,000 in improvements.  I’m not even really sure what those improvements are, they are manini.  When I inquired about DOT’s change of plans with that intersection, I was looked at blankly and the official told me he didn’t know anything about what former DOT staffer Ed Sniffen had told me.  I emphasized that Sniffen promised a Kahakai roundabout at a public meeting.  I was looked at blankly and emphatically told there would be know roundabout at Kahakai Boulevard.

We are getting a roundabout at the intersection of Pahoa Village Road and Highway 130, but the project supposedly won’t go out to bid until December 2012.  That’s right, December 2012.  Sit with that one for awhile.  One of the state’s most deadly intersection and, contrary to what Sniffen told us, it’s going to be over a year from now before there is even a call for bids.

Also on their list were Shower Drive shoulder conversion and Ainaloa Boulevard intersection with Highway 130, but I hesitate to give you the supposed start times on those projects.  It’s unbelievable how neglected this neighbor island is from the big wigs in Honolulu.  And it is extremely frustrating that the politicians come and go and appoint their administrators, and the new people who come aboard redirect the money or scratch the plans.  I honestly can’t even believe how it works.  Even our representatives who were present tonight — Sen. Gil Kahele, who hosted the town meeting with DOT officials, Reps. Faye Hanohano, Bob Herkes and Clift Tsuji, and Puna Councilman Fred Blas had to see tonight that the State DOT office is truly doing us a dis-service.

One DOT official could not even describe the different phases of the Kea’au-Pahoa Road Improvements.  Elizabeth Weatherford brought up a three-inch-thick bound document on the Kea’au-Pahoa Road Improvements and the official leafed through it, totally disoriented and lost, unable to hone in on a page and explain the different phases to the person who was asking. Liz Salfen, with the County, had to get up and save the guy from looking like a total ass in front of the estimated 30 people in attendance.  Meanwhile, the handout for the meeting mis-spelled Kea’au. It was shameful, the lack of planning for the meeting, let alone our State road improvements in Puna.

My children really will have graduated from college by the time we get the Puna Makai Alternative Route.  I didn’t even stay for that part of the presentation.  Sorry Larry Brown.  I realize that is to be a County project.  But I am not feeling very confident that the PMAR is going to move any more swiftly than Highway 130 improvements.  Honestly, I hope the County PMAR happens but I consider meetings like the one tonight to be the “hopes-and-dreams meetings.”

Since I’m hoping and dreaming, I don’t think that we should think of PMAR in terms of roads, we should focus our intentions on a railroad or a rail of some sort.  There is no way to avoid Hawaiian Paradise Park curmudgeons who have and will continue to speak out against a road through their subdivision.  I know plenty of wonderful people in Paradise Park, so I’m not trying to apply a broad stroke and generalize.  I’m just saying that there are enough curmudgeons in HPP to delay the PMAR process by condemning proposed routes.

Knowing how difficult it really is to get capital improvement projects such as a road underway, I believe opposition to the PMAR is going to set the project back 20 more years than the 20 years it’s going to take —with all the different administration changes and time needed to draw and re-draw the plans.  That will mean 40 years.  I can imagine it to be somewhat like the once Alii Highway, or Kahalui to Keauhou Parkway, and that Kona project was only to be 4.5 miles.  This PMAR is supposed to be the route between Lower Puna and Hilo, so I think that’s a route at least three or four times longer than the Kona project.

So, anyway, since we’re casting our hopes and dreams tonight, I’m just going to drop my idea before I have to cut this stream of consciousness writing short:  let’s create a geothermal-powered train (from Puna) or a methane-powered train (from the Hilo landfill) and use Railroad Avenue for the train route.  If the residents of Hawaiian Paradise Park do not want the train to stop in their subdivision, so be it, that will be their community association’s vote.  I think, if this is going to take 40 years, why not limit ourselves to the thought of roads.

It was nice to see a few dozen of you tonight.  I’m trying to get ready to go to Honolulu for Journalism Day at University of Hawaii on Saturday, so I apologize if I left anything out in my notes on tonight’s meeting.  Feel free to add your thoughts here. A Hui Hou.

Rep. Bob Herkes

Rep. Clift Tsuji (L) and Sen. Gilbert Kahele have a quiet talk during the State DOT Power-Point presentation on Hilo and Puna projects.

 

Hilo News — Help YWCA Preschool; Save Diamond Bakery Cookie Package UPC Codes

Aloha YWCA Members,
Help our YWCA Preschool earn much needed supplies! Education Works, Diamond Bakery and Meadow Gold are teaming up to deliver aloha to Hawaii’s classrooms! You can help by saving the UPC codes from the packages of Diamond Bakery cookies or crackers sold in 8oz bags or larger. You can also save UPC codes from selected half-gallon and one-gallon milk and juice Meadow Gold products. The preschool will collect clipped UPC codes and redeem them for coupons that can be used towards the purchase of educational materials at Education Works. You can do your part in helping the YWCA Developmental Preschool while enjoying a snack or a drink! For more information, please contact Lissa Van Kralingen at 935-7141 ext.103 or lvankralingen@ywcahawaiiisland.org.

YWCA of Hawaii Island

145 Ululani St.
Hilo, HI, US
96720

Hilo News — Maui-Based Construction Worker Falls 200 Feet To His Death Installing Honolii Zipline

 

“I want to express our concern and condolences to the families of both men involved in this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.”

 

“We will conduct a careful, thorough review to determine all of the facts in this case. We need to know exactly what happened and why, and we need to know exactly what went wrong. When we have completed that review and the facts are known, we will release our findings publicly.” — Mayor Billy Kenoi

(Adapted media release) — A Maui man died and an Ohio man was critically injured in a zip line accident Wednesday morning in Paukaʻa.  Both men were employed by the Maui-based Experiential Resources Incorporated (ERi) that builds and maintains zip lines all over the world, according to Gary Marrow, a partner of Kapoho Kine Adventures and owner of Lava Hotline. The zipline construction workers had just made an adjustment to the line and were in the process of testing it, according to police who investigated the accident.

One of the workers, a 36-year-old Maui man, had traveled about halfway across the 2,300-foot span when a tower collapsed and he fell approximately 200 feet to his death, police said.

Another ERi construction worker, a 35-year-old Ohio man, who was standing on the tower, fell about 30 feet. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition with multiple internal injuries, according to police.

“They were construction guys working on the course the last eight months, working on a course that is not even open yet” Marrow said, referring to a fifth zipline in what Lava Hotline calls its “Honolii Mountain Outpost” course.  (See photo above courtesy of Kapoho Kine Adventures.)

The Maui man’s name is not being released until next of kin has been identified.  The identity of the Ohio man, who is in critical condition, is also not being released.

As far as Marrow knows, this is the first fatality involving a worker with ERi. He said that company is comprised of “the top guys you go to,” being accredited by the Association for Challenge Course Technology.

“Lava Hotline owns the zipline,” Marrow said, responding to news reports that Kapoho Kine Adventures owns the zipline being installed by the construction workers. “Lava Hotline hired Kapoho Kine Adeventures to handle the reservations. Kapoho Kine does not own the zipline. It takes the reservations.”

“The builders have told us, ‘it was our guys, our company doing the build, it  had nothing to do with you’,” Marrow said.

Still, he said, Lava Hotline will be shutting down the Honolii Mountain Outpost for a few weeks for inspections.

ERi is a design-build company based on Maui that has been in existence for about 19 years.  Originally based in Kentucky, it moved to Maui two years ago.  John White, of ERi, released the following statement:

 

HILO BULLETIN —Police: Attempted Sexual Assault And Attempted Kidnapping At Hilo Public School

(Media release) — Big Island police put out an all-points bulletin for a man they say was wanted for the attempted kidnapping and attempted sexual assault of a female child in a restroom at a Hilo public school this morning, Tuesday, Sept. 20,2011. About an hour  after the initial bulletin, police issued a release stating the suspect has been located.

Police say the child managed to escape from the man, who, until his capture on Aupuni Street mid-morning, was last seen on Kapiolani Street heading in the direction of Haili Street around 6:30 a.m.

He is described as a man in his 30s with a brown complexion, 6-foot-1, 200 pounds with 2-to-3-inch-long brown or black hair and no facial hair. He was wearing a dark red nylon track suit with white shoulders and elastic cuffs at the wrists. He had on large white wireless headphones and may have been riding a two-wheel bicycle.

Samson Perez, also known as Samson Kahumoku, was located on Aupuni Street in Hilo at 9:50 a.m. and arrested without incident on suspicion of fourth-degree sexual assault, attempted kidnapping and attempted first-degree sexual assault. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives continue the investigation.

(Submitted by Hawaii Police Department via Nixle.)