Puna News — Have You Seen Dennis Eugene White’s Jeep?

Dennis Eugene White, whose body was found at Pohoiki in January, died of a head injury. Depicted is his Jeep, which, to date, has not been located. Those with information on its whereabouts or White's death should call police Det. Norbert Serrao at (808)961-2383.

(Media release) — Big Island police are renewing their request for information about the location of a car belonging to a man found dead in lower Puna on Jan. 17.

The body of 62-year-old Dennis Eugene White of Kapoho was found partially submerged near the shoreline in the vicinity of Isaac Hale Beach Park in Pohoiki. A autopsy determined that he died from a head injury.

Although police have not ruled out foul play, the case is currently classified as a coroner’s inquest. Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section are continuing the investigation.

White’s car was a black or dark green 1998 Jeep Wrangler with a tan soft top with license plate HDY 926. White was last seen driving the Jeep alone in the area of Papaya Farms Road in Kapoho in the early evening hours of January 16.

Police ask that anyone with information about this case or the location of the Jeep call Detective Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or email him at nserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us.

(Submitted by Hawaii Police Department via Nixle.)

Hilo News — Your Junk Could Be Another’s Treasure At The April 21 WHS Junior Country Fair

Image courtesy of Horicon (Wis.) Chamber of Commerce.

(Media release) — Take advantage of this great opportunity to clean your home of unwanted clothing, toys, games, infant supplies, books, office supplies, CDs, DVDs, kitchen goods, appliances, furniture and other miscellaneous items! Spring clean your home and help the Waiakea High School Junior Class of 2013 Manta Rays! The class kindly asks the public to drop off their rummage sale items on two upcoming dates: Sunday, March 11 from noon to 3 p.m. and on Friday, April 6 from 9 a.m. to noon. Both drop off locations will be at the Waiakea High School bus ramp.

The Junior Country Fair is the major fundraiser for the Class of 2013 to subsidize all of the activities during the class’ senior year such as Homecoming, Variety Show, Senior Luau, Senior Prom, and Commencement/Graduation. This year’s Junior Country Fair will be held on Saturday April 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the WHS cafeteria.

Please drop off your miscellaneous items to help the WHS Junior Class have a successful senior year full of activities and memories that they will never forget. If you have any questions or for more information, please contact Kellie Iwasaki, WHS Junior Country Fair chair, at (808) 987-4931.

The WHS Junior Class is also selling pre-sale tickets for sweet bread to be picked up on Sat. April 21. For sweat break tickets, please contact Mrs. Fujioka at 974-4888 ext. 263.

(Submitted by Patsy Iwasaki.)

Puna News — Sage Million Has a Bench Warrant And Is Wanted For Questioning About A Sex Assault

Sage Million

(Media release) — Big Island police are requesting the public’s help in locating a 58-year-old Puna man wanted for an outstanding bench warrant and for questioning in connection with a recently reported sexual assault of a minor.

Detectives are seeking Sage Million, last known to have been living in the Ainaloa subdivision in Puna. He is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-7, 140 pounds with short brown hair balding at the front, brown eyes, a medium build and a light complexion.

Detectives with the Juvenile Aid Section are continuing this investigation.

Police ask that anyone with information on Million’s location call Detective Daylan Asuncion at 961-8843 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 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.)

Hawaii News — May 24-28 Big Island Film Festival Includes Screenwriting And Filmmaking Workshops

(Media release) — The Big Island Film Festival is proud to announce an exciting lineup of professional screenwriting and filmmaking workshops during BIFF 2012, May 24-28 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i and The Shops at Mauna Lani.  Limited space will be available on an advance registration basis, for workshops presented by Story/Career Consultant Jen Grisanti and Maui hit filmmaker Brian Kohne, on Thursday, May 24 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i Amphitheatre. Read more

Hilo News — ‘Treasures of Hongwanji’ Is At Sangha Hall Saturday

Puna Taiko drummers

(Media release) — Every year, the Buddhist temples from Honpa Hongwanji and Higashi Hongwanji come together to share their special treasures with the general public.  This year, the “Treasures of Hongwanji” takes place Saturday, March 3, 2012, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sangha Hall in Hilo, 424 Kilauea Ave., on the grounds of Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin.  Admission is free, and includes an intriguing collection of displays and sales of unique items and handcrafted foods, some of which are not easily available any other time of the year.  The event also features the intricate and soulful music of guitar soloist, Unzan Pfennig.

Unzan Pfennig photo by Jason Carey Smith

A Zen priest and an Aikido instructor. Unzan performs at Miyo’s Japanese Restaurant , Tues. Thurs. and Sat.5:30-8:30 p.m.  In a recent story for Big Island Weekly, J Walk Smith described him as “a big guy who gracefully loops and layers melodies with a guitar and foot pedals. He has a unique take on difficult songs and is able to layer and montage recognizable and unrecognizable pieces into harmonious sound.”

“World music is a strong influence,” said Unzan, “So you will hear something inspired by Asian, African, Eastern European, Mainland US, Native American.”  Although he doesn’t play Hawaiian music as such, he says, “My ‘style’ arose in me at the sound of the slack key masters, where they play something ‘only’ because it is beautiful… I never played this way until I came to Hawaii almost 10 years ago and started to play at Miyo’s.”

“I am really grateful to Miyo’s but truly to Hawaii and Hawaiian Music,” said Unzan.  “I feel it is like moving to Nashville or the Mississippi Delta where everyone plays, and in my audience are great players any night of the week, so I try to always play in a respect toward my senior players.”

Unzan performs at 10:30 am.  Also appearing on the bill will be the Puna Taiko group.

In addition to musical food for the soul, delicious food for the body will also be available for purchase. Some of the items expected this year are:  chicken sausage, chayote sambaizuke, milk bread, jams, yomogi dango, papaya namasu, Kona Coffee (hot brewed and bags), jellies, ampan, ti leaf dango, sekihan, barbecued ribs, mini spam musubi, smoked pork, and more!  There will also be plants, vegetables, Cherry Blossoms and other flowers, crafts, informative displays, entertainment, kids’ activities, and lucky number prizes.  (Come early for the best selection.)

For more information, contact Miles Okumura, (808) 640-4602, misterokumura@yahoo.com.

(Submitted by Cathey Tarleton.)

Letters — More On Dog Bites And Dangerous Dogs In The Community

Images courtesy of James Weatherford

Aloha Tiff,

Attached are photos of dog bites on a human. You are the journalist and blogger. If you think it is acceptable to publish these, please do so. My belief is that people really do need to be confronted with this reality.

Last week I sent out an email to people I know regarding the Joel Foster case and the upcoming meeting, which the Leilani Neighborhood Watch has graciously opened to the wider community. Some of those people forwarded my email to their own networks. Response has included reports of a total of six more dog attacks in recent years in Ainaloa, Leilani, and Hawaiian Paradise Park.

Below is a statement from one of the people who have responded and the attached photos are hers. For obvious reasons, she prefers to remain anonymous. Again, you are the journalist and blogger and know how to deal with information of this nature.

“I had a similar experience in Ainaloa…..with the same result…I am recovering but the neighbors still have the offending dog and i am still paying medical bills… ”
“I can’t attend the meeting but I have some pretty gruesome pictures and could forward them with a statement.”
“The arm bite was really deep and took a long to heal but was not as traumatic for me as the breast bite.”

My own experience: Like you recently lost a friend in a senseless drunken driving incident, I lost a friend to a dog attack 8 years ago — strong, healthy woman in her 30’s was attacked in Hawaiian Paradise Park. I talked with her about a month after the attack and the sight of multiple and deep dog bites on human flesh is something I will never forget. Worse was the trauma in her eyes. She told me the same dogs attacked someone else 10 days after they attacked her. I saw her husband about two months later and learned that the previous month she had died of liver failure due to the toxins from the dog bites.

James Weatherford

Kona News — Keauhou Bay Cleanup Is March 10

(Media release) — Kamehameha Investment Corporation has teamed up with Keauhou Bay partners and community members to mark the one-year anniversary of the devastating Japan earthquake and the resulting tsunami that heavily damaged structures and deposited debris in and around Keauhou Bay. An all-volunteer Keauhou Bay Clean-Up is slated for Saturday, March 10 from 7:00 to 11:00 a.m.

“Community volunteers are such a valuable resource as we continue efforts to restore Keauhou Bay. During the Keauhou Bay Clean-Up day, we will tackle a wide variety of tasks – on land and underwater – that will help repair this widely-used historic area,” said Kamehameha Investment Corporation President Kyle Chock. “We plan to continue our community stewardship of this significant cultural and natural resource by making this an annual clean-up event.”

For the past year, Keauhou Bay landowners Kamehameha Investment Corporation and Kamehameha Schools have been working to expedite necessary permits and repairs. “The re-opening of Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides newly renovated headquarters in December was an uplifting milestone,” said Chock.  

During the clean up, volunteers will help with the removal of debris and other opala (trash) in and around Keauhou Bay, cut down tall brush near Keauhou Canoe Club, and clean and repaint the public restroom facilities. Individuals, families and small and large groups are welcome. Refreshments, t-shirts, gloves, garbage bags and trash containers will be provided. Volunteers are asked to meet at the Keauhou Canoe Club at 7:00 a.m.   

Partnering with Kamehameha Investment Corporation as sponsors of the Keauhou Bay Clean-Up are Kamehameha Schools, Keauhou Shopping Center, Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, Keauhou Beach Resort, Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides, Kona Country Club, KAPA Radio, Keauhou Canoe Club and KTA Super Stores.
(Submitted by Laura Aquino.)

Hawaii News — Mayor To Circulate The Island For Talk-Story Sessions Throughout March

(Media release) — In an effort to bring government to the people, Mayor Kenoi and the directors of County departments will be all over the island for Community Talk Story events scheduled throughout the month of March. These events, hosted by groups in the area, are an opportunity for residents to meet and talk with County leadership about projects and issues important to their communities. Over 40 Talk Stories have been held since 2009.
These March Talk Story events are just the first in this year’s series. More events in more communities are being planned, and those dates will be announced as they are finalized.
Meeting places are accessible to persons with disabilities. Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service to particiapate in these events should contact Lisa at 961-8211 as soon as possible but not later than five days before the event. For more information, contact the Mayor’s Office at 961-8211.
Thursday, March 8 – Honoka‘a
North Hawai‘i Education & Research Center
45-539 Plumeria St. in Honoka‘a
Hosted by the Hāmākua Farm Bureau
Monday, March 12 – Pāhoa
Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility
15-2910 Kauhale Road in Pāhoa Town
Hosted by the ‘Āinaloa and Nānāwale Community Associations & Maku’u Farmers Market
Thursday, March 15 – Waikoloa
Waikoloa Village Association Community Room
68-1792 Melia St. in Waikoloa Village
Hosted by the Waikoloa Village Association
Monday, March 19 – Ka’ū
Nā’ālehu Elementary School
95-5545 Māmalahoa Highway
Hosted by the Ka‘ū Rural Health Community Association & Hawaiian Civic Club of Ka‘ū
Friday, March 30 – Waimea
Kahilu Town Hall
Behind the Parker Ranch Center
Hosted by Hale O Nā Ali‘i, Waimea Chapter & Waimea Community Association

(Submitted by T. Ilihia Gionson.)

Hawaii News — 28 People Arrested For Drunk Driving This Week

(Media release) — During the week of February 20, 2012, through February 26, 2012, Big Island police arrested 28 motorists for drunk driving. Twelve of the drivers were involved in traffic crashes. Two were under the age of 21.

So far this year, there have been 230 DUI arrests compared with 228 during the same period last year, an increase of 0.9 percent.

There have been 219 major accidents so far this year compared with 229 during the same period last year, a decrease of 4.4 percent.

So far this year, there were five traffic fatalities on the Big Island compared with five during the same period last year.

DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island wide.
(Submitted by Hawaii Police Department via Nixle.)

Puna News — Expect Expanded Learning Time At Puna Schools

(Media release) — The Hawaii State Board and Department of Education and the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) today announced that teachers in the Zones of School Innovation (Nanakuli-Waianae and Kau-Keaau-Pahoa complexes) and at the Hawaii School for the Deaf and the Blind (HSDB) voted to ratify an agreement for extended learning time and additional professional development days.  

Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe released the following statement:

“This new agreement is a pivotal step in our efforts to ensure that all Hawaii’s high school graduates are prepared for college or a career in today’s global marketplace.

“Additional focused mandatory instructional time for students is critical.  Research has shown that extended learning time helps teachers make a greater positive impact on students.
“We believe this investment will result in a better work environment, greater levels of job satisfaction, superior teacher and principal retention rates, and, most of all, significantly improved student achievement in the Zones and at the Hawaii School for the Deaf and the Blind.”  

(Submitted by Sandra Goya.)

Letters — New Puna Resident Seeks Advice On Visiting Steam Vents

hi there! my name is megan gazzo and i am currently living in mountain view on the big island. i am writing to you in hopes that you may be able to help me or direct me to how exactly i get to the steam caves now that the main place ( where the bed and breakfast used to be) has closed down. i will do whatever it takes to experience these steam vents …and was hoping to see if you had some tips about how i can approach them or what the real deal with this no trespassing area is . please let me know and i would greatly appreciate it. thank you
best, megan

***Commentary*** Please Stand By, Back To Regular Programming Shortly

Aloha faithful Big Island Chronicle readers,
Sorry if I have seemed distant lately — with all the blog drama, I have had very little motivation to put my thoughts into words in the limited time I have to write. Along with having a less-than-warm-and-fuzzy feeling for blogging, I have also been very busy with an extra-long list of things to do. Topping the list was my son’s first birthday, which, in true Hawaiian style, included a luau. I had to make a Costco run to prepare for the party and, since I was going to Kona, I ended up arranging for and conducting a couple of interviews for some freelance stories I have been meaning to write. That meant an overnight stay on the other side, which, inevitably made for more blog fodder. But it also made for quite a full and mentally taxing week.
I thought today was going to be the day that I sat down and cleared my inbox of all the news I have to share with you. Alas, after a day of celebrating my boy’s birthday, my daughter came down with a fever and vomited multiple times throughout the night. My Sunday list just got rearranged and nursing my child is my chief concern at this point. I also have quite a bit more laundry to do as a result of the pukefest. So, what that means for you is that you should 1. dose up on vitamin C and 2. expect to hear from me after I get our house in order. Hopefully, you all will have a great and productive week. Stay healthy, despite the odds.